Glastonbury Festival has long been working on its green credentials, asking festival goer’s to ‘love the farm, leave no trace‘ and encourages the use of reusable water bottles by installing numerous water fountains around the sprawling 1,100 acre site. The site is littered with reminders that once the festival is over, Glastonbury Festival returns to a working farm for the other 51 weeks of the year and should you be seen littering it isn’t too long before a fellow festival pundit is lecturing you on the lasting impact your careless action has on the planet. It all sounds pretty good so far, doesn’t it? You could be forgiven for wondering what else the event could be doing to reduce it’s impact on the environment going forward, but it would seem that the brains behind the UK’s most famous festival have answered that for us.
Plastic drinks bottles will not be available at Glastonbury 2019.
Having taken a fallow year in 2018 many expected Glastonbury to come back with a bang, but few expected a total ban on plastic water bottles in 2019. News of Kylie Minogue’s headliner spot and another year of a rumoured Oasis reunion have been superseded by this huge step forward for the festival, but once you start crunching numbers it becomes clear why this drastic move is so essential.
The one million mark
It is estimated that at the 2017 festival over one million plastic drinks bottles were sold on the site, and with festival partners Greenpeace estimating that 12.7 million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans each year a ban on the sale of plastic drinks bottles felt like the only way forward for the festival.
WaterAid kiosks will be tripled on site, and as there are hundreds of free water taps around the site festival goer’s are being encouraged to take a reusable water bottle with them to fill up while they are on the go. Vendors who previously sold drinks in plastic water bottles will now be selling them in cans, and with almost 45 tonnes of aluminium cans recycled in 2017 the festival are expecting this figure to rise significantly at the 2019 event. They also hope to see a significant reduction in the 40 tonnes of plastic bottles that were recycled after 2017’s festival.
“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. 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. It’s now or never.”Emily Eavis, Glastonbury Co-Organiser
Those going to Glastonbury in 2019 will be allowed to take plastic drinks bottles into the festival with them, but we encourage everyone to take in as little as possible and help join the effort to keep our beaches clean of single use plastics.
You can read the full announcement here.