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Published August 2018

UK Festivals Are Going Green

You’re on a long and sunny weekend away with friends, enjoying live music, whilst indulging in all kinds of dreamy food and drinks. Festival season is here, and what’s not to love?

Well, whether it be knee deep mud puddles, portaloos or remains of lukewarm alcohol vessels spread across a number of once-thriving fields, the ‘traditional’ British festival is not all sunshine and rainbows.

Without sucking the fun out of festival magic, there is a darker side to the party that can’t be ignored. A study published by Powerful Thinking revealed that roughly 23,500 tonnes of waste are produced annually at UK music festivals, only one third of this waste is recycled, whilst the remaining goes into landfill.

Whilst it is easy to wallow over the facts, such a revelation has provoked positive responses from some of the largest independent British festivals, including the likes of Bestival and Shambala.

One of the most notable and effective methods of winning the war on waste, is through the introduction of eco-bonds. This is the process whereby each festival goer pays a fully refundable surcharge when buying their ticket, which can be claimed back over the period of the festival after actively distributing a set amount of recycling at a pick up point. Creating a monetary incentive to recycle has been seen huge success at a number of smaller UK festivals, including the likes of Boomtown and Nozstock, and is something that should undisputedly be replicated by festival giants such as Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds.

The response to rubbish is becoming even more impressive this summer, with a number of organisers going well beyond the eco-bond. Earlier this August, Bestival was seen to have dramatically reduced the use of single-use plastics on site, whilst Northamptonshire based festival, Shambala, has almost ditched them entirely.

It’s refreshing to witness such active changes occurring in terms of going green, and the YES team are excited to be a part of Go! Organic Festival (8th September – 9th September), which promises a strong policy on plastic usage. No plastic cups or non-biodegradable food packaging will be permitted on site for festival-goers and exhibitors alike. We can’t wait for a weekend of sustainable partying for the whole family, alongside notable advocates for greener living!

So, the next time you consider splashing out on festival tickets, be sure to look past the line-up and consider your eco footprint.

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