The mere mention of a festival is enough to conjure up images of a thousand stomping feet, but what we don’t immediately visualise, is that each of these feet leaves behind a rather deep carbon footprint. While some festival-goers may speak of “enlightenment”, in reality festivals have become notorious heavyweights in the global pandemic of excessive (and frivolous) waste. Although die-hard artists and activists will forever have their place at these massive events, the majority of attendees are drawn to festivals as a form of escape. While most festival goers would choose to support eco-friendly options such as recycling, they are often left with little choice in terms of catering and festival infrastructure.
While intoxicating beats flood the air, and a buzzing pro-green crowd swarms past clutching their polystyrene cups, a truly woke individual may find themselves pondering the irony of the whole event. For the straight-edged among us, festivals are traditionally associated with utopian ideals such as world peace and free love. Yet these days the eco-friendly spirit of the Rainbow Warrior lies hidden beneath the murky waters of throwaway culture. Statistics reflect a much darker side to festivals, with the average UK event generating 23, 500 tons of waste. This includes tents, plastic bottles and clothing, with the main culprit being food and food packaging.