festival
© Bestival

UK festival bans plastic bottles and straws

By: Jack O'Donovan
Date posted: 3 May 2018

Bestival will be selling recyclable cans instead of plastic water bottles at all of their festival bars starting this summer. This is another step in the right direction for the festival’s commitment to rid all single-use plastic from their sellers by 2021. Yet the cans are still single-use, so is this really a sufficient solution?

Canowater
© Bestival/CanOwater

It is great to see that people are getting the message about single-use plastics, but single-use metals are still a throwaway solution.

Dr Sue Kinsey,
Senior Pollution Policy Officer
Marine Conservation Society

Festivals are the highlight of the summer for many music lovers, yet it is undeniable that the conventional festival leaves in its wake an enormous environmental footprint. Bestival, an award-winning four day boutique music festival based in the South of England has made many commitments to reducing its waste over the past few years.

The festival’s Final Straw campaign set out to rid all UK festivals of single-use plastic straws by 2018, ultimately aiming to ban all single-use plastic drinks cups and bottles in years to come. This ban would save 70 million plastic straws from ending up in landfills or polluting the seas this year alone. Coupling this with Bestivals Eco-bond, whereby adults receive a refund of £10 for handing in a bag of recyclables and a bag of refuse as they leave the festival grounds, shows a real commitment in tackling the festivals environmental impact.

Their latest announcement is another step towards reducing plastic waste, although cans are still single-use items, so is this really the best solution?

Dr Sue Kinsey, Senior Pollution Policy Officer at the Marine Conservation Society said: “It is great to see that people are getting the message about single-use plastics, but single-use metals are still a throwaway solution.”

The company CanOwater has designed a resealable, reusable can. Combining these with water stations throughout the festival grounds could be a possible improvement for the future. Taps and drinking water stations would allow people to refill their own reusable containers and would save countless throwaway items over the four day festival.

It’s amazing to see how far the message of plastic pollution is spreading and how many people and organisations have taken steps to actively tackle it. Much is still to be done and today we continue to rally our efforts to create safer seas and a plastic conscious society.

The UK government are currently asking the public their opinion on a throwaway plastic tax. Let the government know that you have had enough of single-use plastic before 18th May.

Actions you can take

  1. Refuse straws at your local restaurant/bar
  2. Download straw graphic for cafe/bar counter
  3. Download our 'Living without single-use Plastic' guide
  4. Download the Great British Beach Clean Report 2018
  5. Download our straw poster
  6. Join the Plastic Challenge
  7. Share #stopsucking

Did you know?…

It’s estimated that one rubbish truck load of plastic litter enters the ocean every minute

MCS first launched the Good Beach Guide in 1987 as a book to highlight the woeful state of the UK’s bathing waters

UK seas and shores are places for leisure, sport, and holiday destination for millions annually