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Festivals getting Drastic On Plastic

Fairport’s Cropredy Convention is one of many festivals that have backed a call to say ‘no’ to single-use tents and are urging festival-goers to take tents home for re-use in an attempt to tackle the problem of single-use plastics. Together with over 60 other music festivals across the UK, Cropredy organisers have called on big retailers such as Argos and Tesco to stop marketing ‘festival tents’ as single-use items.

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) estimates that 250,000 tents are left at music festivals across the UK. Many festival-goers believe the tents are collected and given to charity but, claims AIF, the majority go to landfill. At an average of 3.5kg each, one tent is the equivalent of 8,750 plastic straws or 250 cups.

Gareth Williams, director of Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, said that last year’s Drastic On Plastic initiative had been a great success at Cropredy. “We saw a dramatic reduction of plastic waste at our festival,” he said. “By issuing free stainless steel water bottles to crew and artists we cut plastic bottles from over 4,500 to under a hundred. Our real ale bar also replaced 160,000 plastic glasses with a fully compostable alternative and didn’t issue plastic straws. We made similar progress in our backstage catering operation.”

AIF chief Paul Reed said: “We call upon major retailers to stop marketing and selling tents as single-use. AIF launches this campaign to raise awareness of abandoned tents as part of the single-use plastics problem. Festival audiences can reduce their carbon footprint simply by taking their tent home and reusing it.”