Bestival promoters have recently announced (19 January) plans to ban plastic straws from their events, which include Bestival, Camp Bestival and Common People, for 2018, and are working to make the practice a UK festival standard.
The launch of the Final Straw campaign aims to purge plastic straws from the festival landscape and follows a successful trial at 2017’s Bestival, when biodegradable paper straws replaced plastic. Northamptonshire’s Shambala, Kendal Calling and Cheshire’s bluedot have already signed up, and now Josie and Rob are urging fellow festival promoters to join them. The initiative will then extend to include all single-use plastics, including drinks bottles and bar cups.
Rob da Bank, Bestival promoter, said, “My wife, and fellow Bestival founder, Josie made the decision to ban plastic straws at the festival last year along with a load of new green initiatives. Festivals are potentially big consumers of plastics and non-recyclables and all of us in the festival world need to keep working on reducing those elements at our festivals. Hats off to those already doing it and leading from the front… and to the rest of us, let’s make it happen!”
Marine Conservation Society head of clean seas, Dr Laura Foster, said, “We’re are delighted to see that Bestival are banning plastic straws from their events this year, and extending it to other single-use plastic too. We’ve found thousands of straws at our beach cleans and these simple steps can help people reduce their plastic footprint. We urge other businesses and festivals to follow Bestival’s move and ask everyone to join the Marine Conservation Society call to #stoptheplastictide.”
The Final Straw campaign aims to have all UK festivals committed to eradicating plastic straws in 2018 by Earth Day on 22 April, prior to the festival season beginning, before extending the initiative to include all single-use plastics at festivals in subsequent years. Collectively, the festival community could have a huge impact in reducing the estimated 70 million straws that will end up in landfill or polluting the seas this year alone, and together the industry has the potential to become a major force in changing people’s attitudes to all single-use plastics.
Kendal Calling & bluedot festival director, Ben Robinson said, “Festival culture has always been inspired by the search for alternative experiences and radical action. Making the psychological change to not accepting single use plastics as ‘normal’ or acceptable is something we can support in the fields and take home to our everyday lives. Small changes that make a difference everyday are what will drive the global movement to save our planet and our oceans from the current hammering they are getting with the waste created from day to day convenience items in our society. We can all survive without straws pretty easily.”
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