Glastonbury Festival recognises that running the event at Worthy Farm has a direct impact (both positive and negative) on the environment. The festival is committed to enhancing the environment through our operations wherever possible, and minimising any negative impact. The festival also commits to maintaining the rich and diverse environment that has evolved through alternative land usage. Holding a festival once a year in the middle of the growing season prevents the use of environmentally damaging conventional farming practices which would have a more intrusive impact on the ecology.
We want people to think about their journey to the festival: to use public transport or if coming by car to share transport with others and maximise the carload.
Any event with 177,550 attendees will generate significant levels of litter
The festival is committed to minimising the amount of waste, and managing the on site collection of that waste efficiently, “reduce, reuse and recycle”. We want all festival goers to think ‘zero waste’ and to take home what they bring onto the festival site. We want festivals goers to think responsibly when they are packing there things to come to Glastonbury, don’t bring items that will end up in Landfill, or that you won’t be able to take back home again. “Limit what you bring, and clean up behind you.” The festival commits to continuing its policy of reducing the percentage of waste that goes to landfill, by placing controls on what is bought on site by staff, contractors, sponsors and traders and by emphasis on their responsibility not to bring items that will end in landfill.49% of the rubbish was recycled last year. All cans, glass, paper, wood and organic waste are separated and recycled. There are 15, 000 bins around the site clearly identified for either wet or dry recyclable materials or non-recyclable rubbish.
This year the festival will be adding the recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment to its list, this is for the festival itself rather than the festival goers.
‘A tent is for life not just for a festival’, we want people to not just buy the cheapest tent, spend a little extra and buy yourself a tent that is going to last you a lifetime of camping experiences rather than just a festival or summer.
Pack up your tent and take it home.
The festival is committed to maintaining the high level of bio-diversity that was found on the festival site by the independent bio-diversity audit carried by Liz Biron of Somerset Environmental Records Centre in 2003. The festival aims to further increase this level by continuing its commitment to protecting vulnerable habitats, its new county wildlife sites, badger sets, ponds, streams, hedges and ditches, in nature reserves and non public zones or by fencing them off. In 2005 a temporary reserve was created for a deer that emerged in Hawkwell, by the pyramid stage, when the public arrived on site on the Wednesday. Using 500m of heras, a three acres reserve was created in the heart of the site, from which the deer emerged unscathed at the end of the festival.
A practical reality to this commitment is that the festival for the 9th year running will be enhancing the environment of its core site by trees and hedge planting. The planting to date has brought the total number of native tree and hedge plants planted to over 10,000 since 2000.
Since 2007 all the programme bags have changed from being plastic bags to specially commissioned unbleached 100% cotton bags
All the Glastonbury festival t-shirts are printed using water based (non-pvc) inks and dying is carried out using vegetable dyes
We are striving to keep pushing ourselves on the green issues within the festival. All the wood used by the festival is locally sourced and wherever possible it is Forest Stewardship Certified (FSC) suppliers, ensuring it is sustainable sourced.
Traders – all cutlery used by market stalls must be wood, not plastic. All cups and plates are made from a compostable material. Truck movement has been reduced by having an onsite wholesale market.
In 2004 we developed a composting intitative to minimise the amount of waste that goes to landfill. All traders have their food waste composted; large skips are placed behind all the market stalls and bins to separate the other recyclable waste. At first it was been driven to Hereford to be composted but now we have found sourced a composting facility in Castle Cary which is within 5 miles of the festival site.
All tea, coffee and sugar sold by traders must be fair-trade.
Each year the Festival recruits volunteers for the Recycling Crew at Glastonbury. This crew contribute hugely to the sustainability of the festival. Most of the volunteers apply as individuals or groups of friends but a number of charities also supply teams of volunteers, they receive a donation as thanks and the festival gets the help it needs…without them we wouldn’t be able to achieve the recycling rate that we get. A big thank-you
In 2008 the festival recycled 193.98 tonnes of composted organic waste, 400 tonnes of chipped wood, 9.12 tonnes of glass, 54 tonnes of cans and plastic bottles, 41 tonnes of cardboard, 66 tonnes of scrap metal, 11.2 tonnes of clothing, tents, sleeping bags, 0.264 tonnes of batteries, 10 tonnes of dense plastic. 0.25 tonnes plastic sheets. 863.32 tonnes of waste was recycled.
The festival is the biggest single regular donor to Greenpeace and offers a fertile recruitment ground for members and for promoting environmental campaigns
Glastonbury festival is a midsummer celebration of life and joy, but we must not lose sight of our undertakings to achieve the best possible balance of nature and resources.
The Green Fields at Glastonbury play host to the oldest established family run venue. It has a purpose built mobile generator that carries a 16 panel tracking system on its roof which collects and stores energy in over 2 tonnes of batteries in the box. By using low voltage amplifiers and low resistance circuits the ‘solar system’ powered by a 10 kw P.A system, there is an LED stage lighting rig that only uses the energy of two 100 watt household light bulbs.
In addition to this Glastonbury will be taking renewable power and low energy solutions beyond the Green Fields and into other areas of the festival such as the Theatre and Circus Fields and Shangri-la. By using a combination of cutting edge ‘Orion’ solar generators and modern PA and LED technology which requires substantially less energy to run, this additional presence of solar power and green technology at the Festival will save over a tonne of carbon emissions this year. The Orion Solar Generator is a purpose built box trailer containing batteries, solar panels, solar charge controller and power inverter, everything needed to take power from the sun to the stage. It is a 21st century solution to the biggest of 21st century problems and demonstrates Glastonbury’s continuing commitment towards limiting the environmental impact of the festival.