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How to reuse, reduce and recycle event waste

June 13, 2023

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Festival season is underway, and Coastal Recycling is here to encourage event organisers and individuals to be more eco-friendly with their waste.

As festival season kicks off in the UK, it’s crucial to address the environmental impact of these events and how the staggering amount of waste that’s generated can be detrimental to our planet.

Powerful Thinking’s ‘The Show Must Go On’ report claims that UK music festivals are responsible for almost 26,000 tonnes of waste annually, with around 80% of attendees admitting they purchase new items especially for these types of events. Around 89% of festival goers want to be more responsible with their own waste and with environmentally friendly product alternatives becoming more popular, we’re here to help you on your eco-friendly journey.

What are the challenges?

Plastic bottles, food containers, and bin bags are some of the most common forms of waste left at music festivals, but the largest culprit is tents. Around 250,000 tents are abandoned at music festivals every year, equating to 900 tonnes of waste and around 90% of those end up in landfill. But why are so many people leaving their tents behind?

A survey conducted in 2017 by Festival Republic found that around 40% of attendees were under the impression that their tent would be donated to charity afterwards, while many others are still under the illusion that tents are recyclable.

What can Coastal Recycling do to help?

At Coastal Recycling, we understand that good planning is crucial for successful waste management at events. We work closely with event organisers, production companies, and customers to ensure a seamless approach to waste management, offering the following services:

  1. Clearly labelled waste stations – Nothing about our waste disposal technique is discreet. We will have numerous facilities stationed at your event so attendees can dispose of their waste easily.
  2. Event clearance – Our team will participate in the clean down once the event has ended, segregating any remaining waste appropriately to be disposed of in the appropriate manner.
  3. Litter picking team – We will help organisers keep on top of the waste that accumulates throughout their event.
  4. Recycling services – Working directly with the event organisers, sponsors and other participants, we will aim to recycle as much waste as possible to minimise landfill litter.
  5. Skip hire – Where an abundance of waste can be collected in one spot and disposed of accordingly.

Play your part

With an abundance of eco-friendly initiatives now becoming more prominent, we’re here to highlight some of the ways you, as an individual, can become a part of the solution.

  1. Embrace Reusables: Ditch single-use items and opt for reusable alternatives. Bring your own water bottle, food containers, and cutlery to minimise waste. Consider investing in eco-friendly camping gear, such as Comp-A-Tent, a compostable tent designed to biodegrade within 4 months.
  2. Reduce Packaging and be Efficient: Before attending a festival, plan your meals and snacks to avoid excessive packaging. Research sustainable festival initiatives such as Festival in a Bag who provide everything a festival goer needs in a sturdy 65L rucksack. Convenient, light and compact.
  3. Sort Your Waste: Familiarise yourself with the festival’s waste management system. Use designated bins for recycling, general waste, and compost.
  4. Ensure items are properly sorted to maximise the potential for recycling and composting.
    Join Eco Initiatives: Participate in eco-conscious initiatives.. Look out for recycling stations, waste education workshops, and sustainability campaigns such as Pee Power and Eco Glitter.
  5. Donate or Swap: Consider donating unwanted items such as camping gear, clothing, and non-perishable food to local charities or designated collection points. Alternatively, explore swap markets within the festival where you can exchange items with fellow attendees.
  6. Leave No Trace: Practise the “Leave No Trace” principle by cleaning up after yourself. Pack up your camping area and dispose of waste responsibly.

Get a free waste review from Coastal Recycling

With our strong commitment to sustainability, Coastal Recycling aim to maximise recycling rates, help you manage your event waste responsibly and reduce your waste costs.

We can provide your event with complete commercial waste management that matches your needs. Get in touch for a quote.

Around 250,000 tents are abandoned at music festivals every year, equating to 900 tonnes of waste