Glastonbury music festival 2019 concluded on June 30. The clean-up that followed revealed huge heaps of plastic that were discarded by festival-goers at the site. Ironically, the theme of this year’s festival was climate change and the environment reports The Sun.
Organizers had set out to ban single-use plastic bottles and even set up water in cans at refill sites. Despite these measures, thousands of plastic bottles and other debris have been found scattered around the fields. Workers have begun the clean-up process post the event.
Contradictory claims by Glastonbury authorities
On Sunday, on the last day of the festival, Sir David Attenborough took to the stage to praise festival-goers for using less plastic. Co-founder Emily Davis was also quoted saying, “most eye-opening part of the weekend for me was not seeing any plastic bottles in the bins or on the ground”. The onsite recycling team said it has seen, “a massive reduction in the amount of plastic on the site this year – the least ever seen, by a distance”.
However, photos of the aftermath contradict all these claims. Some attendees even spoke about how “disgusting” amounts of rubbish were piling up at the festival. With all this negative publicity, the festival team clarified that there was never a ban on the public bringing their own plastic bottles on site. However, all plastic and cans would be recycled at the on-site recycling centre.
Recycling at Glastonbury Festival
Despite the huge amounts of plastic waste recovered, the festival authorities have made sure that the waste has been appropriately recycled. In total, 45 tonnes of aluminium cans were processed on site. Further 4,500 litres of cooking oil was successfully converted into biofuel.
Each year, Glastonbury Festival sees 1,300 recycling volunteers gathering together. Ever since 2000, 10,000 trees have been planted locally.