Sustainability

FRN to promote reuse at Glastonbury

As Glastonbury Festival kicks off this Thursday (26 June), revellers will be given the opportunity to confess their contribution to reuse and the circular economy – or lack of it, in some cases.

Practising what it preaches, the Furniture Re-use Network (FRN) will be reusing one of the ‘Big Brother’ chairs, donated by Channel 4 production company Endemol and recreating its own ‘Diary Room’. The intention is to enable festival goers to confess their waste sins, while spreading the word on reuse, and getting people to pledge to reuse and donate furniture, electricals and other goods in the future.

Craig Anderson, CEO of FRN, said: “It’s a bit of fun. We know people want to be photographed in the chair; to tweet the photos and messages to friends; but FRN has a very serious intent to promote reuse. The term `circular economy’ doesn’t mean much to the general public but by reusing, they are actually part of it and applying the principles. And from FRN’s perspective by reusing the `waste’ of others, we’re alleviating poverty for nearly one million low income households each year.”

FRN say that the fact waste is a poverty issue is ‘crucial’ to them, the reuse charities it supports and leads, and for the people they can help.

“The demand is there,” added Anderson. “Poverty and austerity mean that the urgent need for these goods is not going away and we need to stop wasting when others have nothing.”

Glastonbury and the circular economy

Waste management and the idea of a circular economy are issues that have always been considered important by managers of Glastonbury Festival.

Glastonbury’s Infrastructure Manager, Phil Miller, has previously spoken to Resource about the festival’s waste management infrastructure and the importance of educating festival-goers about recycling – sharing their green motto: 'Love the farm. Leave no trace.'

This year, the festival is starting a campaign against plastic bottles. It is estimated that one million bottles are used during the four days and many of these are left littered on the floor when attendees leave.

This year, 2,000 road crew and band members will be given stainless steel, reusable bottles, and many more will be on sale for the public. Festival goers will be encouraged to fill up these bottles using 400 drinking taps that are set up around the site.

The water from these taps will be from underground reservoirs rather than tanks that hold heavily chlorinated drinking water.

Charity WaterAid will also be setting up kiosks around the site to offer reusable bottles and cups, and offering free refills. Next year these kiosks will double up as DJ booths in the night.

Lucy Smith, Glastonbury’s green issues organiser, said that the plastic bottle initiative precedes a plan for Glastonbury 2015 to replace all plastic pint pots and cutlery with reusable items in an attempt to eradicate the legacy of plastic waste from the huge rural site.

FRN will be set up on the Green Futures site, near Greenpeace, and open for confessions (while praying for sun, no doubt!) until Sunday (29 June).

Read more about festival waste management.