Our green policies

posterGlastonbury 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 their 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. 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.

‘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.

We’re recycling like mad. In 2014, half of all waste generated by the Festival was recycled. With your help, we’re hoping that this could go up to 60% this year. All cans, glass, paper, electrical and electronic equipment, wood and organic waste are separated and recycled as locally as possible. Many thanks to our fabulous Recycling Crew for making this possible. In 2014 the Festival recycled 114 tonnes of composted organic waste, 400 tonnes of chipped wood, 23 tonnes of glass, 85 tonnes of cans and plastic bottles, 41 tonnes of cardboard, 162 tonnes of scrap metal, 11.2 tonnes of clothing, tents, sleeping bags, 0.264 tonnes of batteries, 3 tonnes of dense plastic. 0.25 tonnes plastic sheets. 983 tonnes of waste were recycled or diverted from landfill. 54 % of our waste was recycled.

What we need to do now is start seriously reducing the volumes of waste that are created by the Festival and the only way to do this is to “Reduce, Reuse, recycle’

There are teams of volunteers that contribute hugely to the sustainability of the Festival. There are 1,300 recycling volunteers, 1,200 work for a ticket and the other volunteer for their nominated charity like WaterAid, Kiota and Bhopal Medical Appeal. The money that they earn gets donated to the charity they are working for. Without them we wouldn’t be able to achieve the recycling rate that we reach.

It costs us £780,000 to dispose of all the rubbish left at the Festival. That’s £780,000 less to Water Aid, Greenpeace or Oxfam – the main recipients of any profits made by Glastonbury. With £780,000, Water Aid can enable 52,000 people to access to safe water, improve hygiene and sanitation.

We’re taking energy directly from the sun to the stage. We’ve introduced solar power and green technology to the Theatre & Circus and Shangri-La areas. All of the cafes, stalls and stages above the old railway line in the Green Fields are powered by the sun or wind; there are no diesel generators. Even the showers are solar powered.

Hybrid Generators.  This year we have hybrid generator sets that that can integrate solar, wind, diesel gen set, mains grid and battery storage. These hybrid solutions have the advantage of delivering greater peak loads, by passing through power directly from the diesel generator. Glastonbury festival is always looking at new initiatives and technology to pioneer at the festival. It is a fantastic testing ground for new technology creating a unique environment for piloting, auditing and researching.

We’re installing even more solar panels.  We have installed on the farm the largest privately owned solar PV array in the UK. The 1,500 square metres of solar panels sit on top of the cattle shed that is home to the 350 Worthy Farm cows. On a clear, sunny day, the panels  generate around 250kW of power – around the same amount of power used annually by 40 homes. Any power that isn’t used on the farm is exported to the National Grid.

No plastic bags! All our Festival programmes come in 100% organic unbleached cotton bags, printed with vegetable dyes. Our official Glastonbury Festival T-shirts are printed using water-based (non-pvc) inks and dying is also carried out using vegetable dyes.

Compost loos. We have the largest number of compost toilets anywhere in the world. This year we will have over 1200 compost toilets which after a year produce wonderful compost that is brought back onto the festival site and used within the permaculture field and different areas of the site.

Fairtrade. All tea, coffee, sugar and hot chocolate sold on-site are Fairtrade. And we actively encourage stallholders to increase their stock of Fairtrade products each year.

We only allow compostable or re-usable plates and cutlery. All cutlery used by market stalls must be made from FSC-assured wood, not plastic. And cups and plates are made of cardboard which is a compostable material, or porcelain.

Don’t pee in the river. The whitelake river runs through the festival site which is home to many fish and wildlife. If people don’t use the toilets provided then pee runs into the river and depletes it of oxygen killing the fish and wildlife. Please help us by asking people not to pee in the hedges if you see them. Contamination of the river threatens the Festival. A bucket of urine pollutes the entire river.

Glastonbury Stainless steel water bottles. We are encouraging everyone to bring a reusable water bottle or to purchase a 100% food grade stainless steel water bottle for one of the 10 WaterAid or 2 Raw foundation kiosks onsite. We want to make serious reductions on the volume of plastic bottles onsite and water bottles are a brilliant place to start.

We’re reducing road delivery. We’ve built two reservoirs and have an onsite wholesale market so food and water delivery will be hugely reduced. In 2009 we built a reservoir that holds a million litres of water. And this year we are building another one. All of the festival water will come from the mains so we will not need to truck in water from any other sources. The water is heavily monitored and quality tested twice a day. The stone that has been dug out from the reservoir has been used to increase the bus turning pad and widen the one of the main Festival roads

Reducing the Festival’s CO2 emissions is a continuing priority and having invested money into the local sewage plants, the Festival’s sewage waste can now be processed within an 8-mile radius of the site. Previously, waste had to be hauled to Avonmouth, which is 40 miles away. But by working closely with Wessex Water we’ve reached a far more preferable and sustainable solution.

WE LOVE TREES. Since 2000, we’ve planted over 10,000 native trees and hedge plants in the local environment. We’ve just planted an orchard of special variety apple and pear trees near the farmhouse. Glastonbury works hard to protect vulnerable habitats like badger sets, ponds, streams, hedges and ditches, by creating nature reserves and non-public zones.

All the wood used by the Festival is locally sourced and wherever possible, FSC-assured, ensuring it is sustainable sourced. At the end of the festival all wooden structures are dismantled and the wood is chipped and used around the farm.

We remain the world’s biggest single regular donor to Greenpeace. The Festival offers a fertile ground for recruiting Greenpeace members and for promoting environmental campaigns.


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