Climate change urges festivals goers to go green - GulfToday

Climate change urges festivals goers to go green

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Protestors from climate change group Extinction rebellion walk through Glastonbury Festival.

Festivals take initiatives to tackle climate change with small initiatives.

From plastic waste to abandoning tents to low carbon transport and vegetarianism they have it all.

Glastonbury - the world's largest greenfield festival which opened in southwest England on Wednesday - banned plastic bottles for the first time this year to prevent more than 1 million bottles going into landfill.

"We're always trying to make Glastonbury Festival more sustainable and we're working really hard to reduce our carbon footprint," said Emily Eavis, whose family dairy farm has hosted the event since 1970, this week attended by some 135,000 people.

Less than one-third of the 23,5000 tonnes of waste produced by Britain's 3 million music festival-goers each year is recycled, according to a 2015 estimate by Powerful Thinking, an initiative to cut festivals' environmental and carbon footprint.

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A drawing of Swedish teenage climate campaigner Greta Thunberg is seen at the Glastonbury Festival.

"It has been getting worse every year," said Andy Willcott, director of Critical Waste, which organises litter picking at British festivals and gathers two to three tonnes of rubbish at Glastonbury's 900-acre site each year.

"The camping fields are full of old tents and stuff that people have just left behind," he said. "Then you have your general rubbish - stuff that people have been eating and packaging, baby wipes, and all that kind of horrible stuff."

About 250,000 tents are dumped at festivals each year in Britain alone, said the Association of Independent Festivals, most of which end up in landfill and create a huge amount of plastic waste.

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Event organisers are bringing in increasingly strict measures to cut down on waste and carbon emissions.

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Protestors from climate change group Extinction rebellion walk through Glastonbury Festival.

Global music promoter LiveNation announced it would bar single-use plastic from 2021 at all its events, including Chicago's Lollapalooza and Tennessee's Bonnaroo in the United States and Britain's Reading and Leeds festivals.

Others are taking more unusual steps. England's family-friendly Shambala festival said on its website that it banned all meat and fish from food stands in 2016 to encourage people to try new things and think about changing their diets.

Meanwhile the Boom festival in Portugal - which has been hit by drought and wildfires - limits water availability times to reduce usage and has built a water treatment system using plants to clean waste water from restaurants and showers.

Festivals are also aiming to convince revellers to cycle, take trains or share cars to reach the event and booking talks on climate change as part of the entertainment to encourage festival-goers to change their habits when they return home.

Agence France-Presse