Greener festivals are the future 

Shauna Coates

July 20, 2022

Compost toilets, cardboard tents and refillable cups: How Festivals are becoming Greener

Festivals and sustainability don’t often go hand in hand. British festivals alone produce around 23,500 tonnes of waste each year, with nearly 70% of that waste ending up in landfill. Festival organisers are becoming more aware of the scale of the problem and coming up with innovative solutions to make festivals go greener. Take a look at some of them here:

Green Glastonbury 

Glastonbury has introduced over 1,200 compost loos across the site. Compost loos are a water free process, ensuring the surrounding rivers don’t become polluted by pee! After a year, these toilets turn into compost which is then reused on the agriculture at Worthy Farm. The festival has also introduced a series of Green Policies in order to limit the impact of the festival on the surrounding areas. The policies include banning single-use plastic bottles, providing recycling bins for rubbish and encouraging festival goers to use public transport or car share in order to limit emissions. 

Cardboard Tents

One of the largest pollutants from festivals are tents that have been discarded and left behind. Over one third of festival goers have admitted to leaving behind a tent at a festival. Dutch designers wout kommer & jan portheine have invented the ‘kartent’, a cardboard tent that is 100% recyclable in order to solve this problem. Thick cardboard is used to provide structure and each tent can accommodate two people for a three-day festival – even if there are summer showers, which are likely in the UK summertime! The ‘kartent’ comes with a small window which can be opened to let in air and keep the tent fresh. They have partnered with festivals to set up ‘kartents’ on site to save festival goers from having to carry them. Would you stay in a cardboard tent? 

Refill, reuse, recycle 

Most festivals now offer re-useable cups which can often be bought for a refundable deposit and can be refilled at bars, coffee kiosks and water taps on site. For example, Shambala festival in Northamptonshire use a recycling incentive, offering festival fans a £10 recycling deposit which is fully refunded to those who bring their recyclable items to the on-site recycling exchanges at the end of the event. You can also take your own reusable bottles and coffee cups to festivals, rather than using single use plastic cups or bottles. 

Festivals are enjoyed by millions of people every year in the UK but both organisers and attendees are becoming increasingly aware of the negative environmental impacts they cause. Therefore, festivals are now implementing initiatives to encourage festival goers to respect their surroundings and reduce their environmental impact. So next time you attend a festival, make sure you take your reusables, do not dump your tent and adhere to the green policies implemented but most importantly, have a great time!

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog represent those of the author, Shauna Coates, and are not those of recycle-more, Valpak Limited or any other organisation.