These Festivals Are Tackling The Plastic Problem Head-On

Photo: AFP Contributor / Getty Images
Today brings genuinely fantastic plastic news: Live Nation, the world's largest concert promoter, has vowed to eliminate single-use plastics from its venues and events by 2021.
This means that Reading, Leeds, Wireless, Latitude and Download music festivals, all of which are Live Nation-run, will be plastic-free within two years.
Glastonbury, which is not a Live Nation festival, has already pledged to eliminate single-use plastics as part of its typically innovative response to the plastic problem.
Meanwhile, more than 60 other independent music festivals in the UK have also committed to eliminating single-use plastic by 2021.
These bans means that seeing plastic straws, cups and water bottles at many festivals will soon become a thing of the past. Caterers won't be able to use plastic food trays, and all body glitter will have to be biodegradable.
Live Nation also runs a number of major music venues across the UK, including Manchester Apollo, Cardiff International Arena and London's O2 Academy Brixton. These too will become plastic-free by 2021.
"Hosting over 35,000 concerts and festivals each year, Live Nation has the opportunity and responsibility to provide our artists and fans with a live music experience that protects our planet," president Michael Rapino said in a press statement.
"The adverse effects of climate change are undeniable, and we want to use our place on the world stage to be part of the solution. Together our concerts, venues, festivals and offices around the world are setting new sustainability standards for live events."
Other festivals in the UK and abroad have come up with various innovative ways to make themselves more sustainable. Norway's Øya Festival is powered solely by sustainable electricity, and only serves locally sourced food from small-scale providers. Iceland's Secret Solstice has been carbon-neutral since 2016, with its emissions offset by the planting of trees in Madagascar.
Meanwhile, Kent's Alfresco Festival has teamed up with two local charities who will collect all unwanted tents and sleeping bags and redistribute them to the homeless.
Let's hope that Live Nation's plastic ban encourages more large-scale events to reduce their environmental footprint, much as the London Marathon has done this year.
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