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No more single-use plastic at 60+ UK festivals after 2021

The organisers of more than 60 independent UK music festivals have committed to eliminating all single-use plastic at their events by 2021.

Following on from Live Nation/MAMA’s confirmation earlier this month that plastic straws are to be phased out at the Great Escape, Wychwood, Lovebox, Citadel and Wilderness, 60+ members of the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) have announced plastic straws will similarly be outlawed on site starting this summer, as a first step to a full-scale plastic ban by three years’ time.

The AIF campaign is timed to launch on Earth Day (Sunday 22 April), and will see the websites of member festivals ‘wrapped in plastic’ for 24 hours, with the homepages of Bestival, Boomtown Fair, Shambala and dozens of others overlaid with key facts and messages about the extent and impact of everyday plastic use, along with links to resources from campaign partner RAW Foundation.

AIF says the core message of the campaign is “re-use not single-use”, and represents the start of a “firm commitment from the wider festival industry, with positive talks underway with various festival membership organisations in the UK and across Europe, with the aim of engaging hundreds more festivals to commit by the end of 2018”.

Other signatories to the AIF ‘Drastic on Plastic’ pledge include ArcTanGent, Standon Calling, Festival №6, Y-Not, Truck Festival, Tramlines, Just So Festival, Field Day, Oxjam, End of the Road and Boardmasters.

“We will work … with the festival industry to radically change our relationship to our ‘plastic stuff’”

Paul Reed, CEO of the newly independent AIF, comments: “It is encouraging and inspiring that so many AIF members have taken this initiative and pledge on board without hesitation and are taking a collective stand against single-use plastic. This is one of the most critical issues facing our businesses and wider society. By working together as an industry and taking affirmative action, we can make a tangible difference.”

“Unless you’ve been living on the moon, you’ll know the plastic problem is not going away,” adds Bestival and AIF co-founder Rob da Bank. “I’m very proud that the organisation we started with five members ten years ago now boasts over 60 who have all signed up to eradicate single use plastic in the next couple of years.

“This is exactly the sort of work the AIF needs to be doing – leading the global charge against essentially unnecessary plastic at all our festivals.”

Melinda Watson, founder of RAW, says: “Plastic pollution has been described as ‘the apocalyptic twin of climate change’. We need to take urgent action on this critical issue. Recycling is important, but it is far from the solution. Many of our impacts are embodied in the materials we use.

“We will build on work we have done with Glastonbury and Shambala, working with the festival industry to radically change our relationship to our ‘plastic stuff’.”

 


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Green Music Australia calls for plastic-free July

Some of the biggest names in Australian music, including Paul Kelly, Killing Heidi and Powderfinger frontman Bernard Fanning, have pledged their support for Green Music Australia, which is campaigning for a phase-out of disposable plastic water bottles at venues and festivals.

As the Australian nonprofit gears up for Plastic Free July, an international campaign that urges people “to choose to refuse single-use plastic during July”, it is announcing 31 new Bring Your Own Bottle (#BYOBottle) artist ‘ambassadors’ who have committed to banning disposable plastic bottles at their shows, including asking for ‘green’ drinks riders free of plastic and encouraging the implementation of tap-water stations.

To become an ambassador, artists first need to copy the below text into their riders:

We travel with our own reusable water bottles in order to cut down on the unnecessary waste and environmental damage caused by disposable bottles. Please ensure that jugs or refilling stations with cold and room-temperature water are made available for us to use.We encourage you to consider phasing out disposable water bottles across your business and providing free water refilling stations to punters, staff and artists. Green Music Australia is happy to help: info@greenmusic.org.au

Other ambassadors include Missy Higgins, Ball Park Music and All Our Exes Live in Texas, reports Music Feeds.

Says Green Music Australia’s executive director, Tim Hollo: “It’s fantastic to see so many people getting behind this vision of a clean, green music scene. Throw-away bottles kill wildlife, contribute to global warming and leach toxins into our air and water. Let’s junk them and junk the throw-away culture with them.”

Other Green Music Australia campaigns include Amped Up, which provided assistance and advice to venues seeking to be more energy efficient, and Rock the Reef, an event which aimed to raise awareness of the need for protecting the Great Barrier Reef.

 


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