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E Environment

Glastonbury bans single use plastic bottles

Glastonbury festival, held in Somerset, has launched the campaign “Refill not landfill” in which they have banned plastic bottles across the site.

Their aim is to reduce the litter that is generated throughout the festival, by encouraging bottles to be refilled at designated water kiosks; which will be free. Backstage catering is also going to be plastic free for performers, with canned drinks and reusable water bottles.

They are also trying to encourage people to recycle, by placing litter into the correct provided bins.

An estimated 1.3m plastic bottles were consumed at the festival by visitors, in 2017, thus showing how much of an impact this ban is likely to have in reducing the waste produced.

Emily Eavis, co-organiser of Glastonbury, said: “We have spent a lot of time in 2018 working on the logistical side of all this, speaking to suppliers and market managers”.

A Friends of the Earth spokesman stated: “We’ve seen other festivals giving plastic-free the headliner status it deserves so we’d urge Glastonbury to carry on along the path to plastic-free bliss.”

Glastonbury, however, has a much larger waste problem than just plastic bottles. It was estimated the total cost of disposing of the rubbish produced during the five-day festival is around £780,000.

The Glastonbury Free Press estimated that attendees in 2017 left 500,000 sacks of rubbish, this included 57 tonnes of reusable items.

The main sources of the huge amounts of waste are abandoned tents, camping chairs, airbeds, wellies and even clothes.

Plastic pollution is a major problem in the global oceans, with it being estimated that the equivalent of a truckload of rubbish is placed in the oceans per minute.

The main issues this plastic causes is to marine life, ultimately resulting in them being entangled and choked on the plastic.

Turtles and seabirds can become entangled, which can ultimately cause them to become less mobile; so, they are unable to effectively hunt for food.

Plastic is highly durable, one of the reasons it has been adopted into our everyday lives, but this means that in the oceans it can cause problems for many years. Due to this durability, the plastic will be broken down into smaller and smaller pieces- which can then be mistaken for food by small creatures living in our oceans, potentially causing fatal build ups in their stomachs.

The main methods in which plastic pollution can be greatly reduced is through the use of reusable coffee cups and water bottles, avoiding the use of straws and recycling properly.

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