Glastonbury asks festival fans to recycle while they rock

Glastonbury Festival prides itself on backing the environment and is putting its money where its mouth is with ambitious recycling targets.

Waste produced by the festival, which sees over 150,000 people converge on a Somerset farm, creates a huge headache for organisers.

This year a recycling target of 32% has been agreed by the festival and Environment Agency.

In order to meet this target a number of progressive initiatives have been introduced.

Festival-goers will be given recycling and waste bags upon arrival while the 18,000 recycling containers dotted around the sprawling site have enough capacity for all the cans and bottles the festival is expected to generate while composting bins will be emptied regularly to make sure they do not get over-full.

Robert Kearle, Glastonbury's litter manager, told edie news that vendors will only be allowed to serve food on biodegradable paper plates with wooden cutlery, all of which can be composted along with any leftover food scraps.

"We introduced that last year and were the first event in the country to do so," he said.

"All 2,000 traders are required to recycle everything under the terms of their contract and can be thrown off site if they don't and won't be invited back the following year so that is self policing.

"And by giving the punters green bags to put their recycling waste in as they arrive we are encouraging that from the outset and introducing them to the culture."

As added incentive, fans are made aware that 10p will be donated to WaterAid, one of the festival's charities, for every paper cup placed in the recycling bins.

Mr Kearle said he was confident the festival would meet the target. "Last year the target was 18% and we recycled 32%," he said.

"So I see no reason why we wouldn't meet it again this year.

"In fact I'm hopeful we'll exceed it. The system is in place, now we can refine it and continue in the education of the public."

By Sam Bond



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