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No more plastic bottles at Glastonbury

“It’s now or never,” says Glastonbury organiser Eavis, as the festival pledges to eliminate single-use plastic drinks bottles

By Anna Grace on 28 Feb 2019

Glastonbury 2019 plastic bottle ban

Glastonbury festival cuts down on plastic waste

image © Dave Parry

Single-use plastic drinks bottles will not be available at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, with organisers encouraging festivalgoers to bring reusable bottles to refill at free water taps, WaterAid kiosks and from bars across the festival site.

1.3 million plastic bottles were used at Glastonbury Festival in 2017. The Greenpeace-partnered festival has now announced that plastic bottles will not be available to purchase at this year’s festival and will not be supplied backstage, in the production, catering or dressing room areas.

Greenpeace estimates that up to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean each year. The environmental NGO advises that the best way to avoid plastic pollution is to reduce plastic usage.

Festival organisers urge visitors to bring reusable bottles, stating that the number of WaterAid kiosks dispensing water around the festival site has tripled. Free drinking water will be available from all bars across the site.

Traders who previously sold soft drinks in plastic bottles will now stock canned soft drinks and Life Water, available for purchase.

“It’s paramount for our planet that we all reduce our plastic consumption, and I’m thrilled that, together, we’ll be able to prevent over a million single-use plastic bottles from being used at this year’s festival,” says Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis.

“I really hope that everyone – from ticket-holder to headliner – will leave Worthy Farm this year knowing that even small, everyday changes can make a real difference”

“I really hope that everyone – from ticket-holder to headliner – will leave Worthy Farm this year knowing that even small, everyday changes can make a real difference.”

The festival has already phased out plastic cutlery and plates from food traders, as well as single-use plastic cups and plastic straws.

Single-use plastics and reusables have been a hot topic of conversation within the music industry over the past year and will be discussed in detail at this year’s Green Events & Innovations Conference (GEI).

The Plastic-Free Festival Guide, launched at last year’s GEI, has sparked many festivals to take a look at their festival consumption.

Last year, festival operators across the corporate and independent circuits committed to a ban on plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds at their events. Festival Republic, Global/ Broadwick Live and AEG/ Goldenvoice banned plastic straws across all their 2018 summer festivals. The move followed the elimination of plastic straws at Live Nation/MAMA events.

In the independent sector, 60+ signatories of the Association of Independent Festivals’ (AIF) ‘Drastic on Plastic’ campaign pledged “to eliminate single-use plastics at our event(s) within 3 years by 2021, and to promote reuse solutions wherever practically possible.”

The 11th edition of GEI, in partnership with the International Live Music Conference (ILMC), will take place on Tuesday 5 March at the Royal Garden Hotel in London.


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