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Green campaigners call for festival tent tax

A proposed £25 deposit scheme aims to reduce the number of tents left behind at UK festivals

By Anna Grace on 28 Aug 2019

Green organisations urge festival tent tax

250,000 tents are left at UK festivals each year

image © Dan Kamminga

UK-based environmental organisations have urged for a deposit scheme to be implemented on festival camping tickets, with funds returned to those who take their tents home.

Clean Up Britain called for a £25 “tent tax” to be paid by all those bringing a tent to a festival, with founder John Read stating it was “very sad to see so many tents abandoned” this summer.

It is estimated that 250,000 tents are left at UK music festivals each year, resulting in almost 900 tonnes of plastic waste every year.

“That is hypocrisy, leaving tents in an age where we are doing our best to fight plastic bags and water bottles,” says Allison Ogden-Newton, chief executive of anti-litter charity Keep Britain Tidy.

“That is hypocrisy, leaving tents in an age where we are doing our best to fight plastic bags and water bottles”

The proposed “tent tax” is the latest in a host of initiatives to cut down on tent-related plastic waste at festivals. The Association for Independent Festivals (AIF) this year launched a campaign urging festivalgoers to take their tents home.

A 2016 pledge to reduce waste at Glastonbury Festival reaped rewards this year, with organiser Emily Eavis announcing that over 99% of tents were taken home after the 2019 festival, an 81% increase from 2017.

Many festivals implemented their own green initiatives, including Reading/ Leeds Festivals, Sziget, Roskilde, Tinderbox and Lowlands. Live Nation also launched its Green Nation campaign this year, committing to eliminating single-use plastics at all its events and venues by 2021.


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