135,000 people will arrive at Worthy Farm in Somerset on the 26th June for five full days of festival madness. It happens each year and each year, once all those people have packed their bags and returned to normal life, the fields are an absolute raging mess. Each year, photographs of the aftermath shock us: discarded trash, empty plastic cups, abandoned tents. It's shameful and concerning.
So, in brilliant news, Glastonbury has committed to making the festival more environmentally friendly. In February, they pledged to stop selling single-use plastic water bottles on site. In consultation with Greenpeace, they announced that non-reusable water bottles would not be made available at any outlet on their premises, backstage and crew areas included. They also tripled the number of water refill stations on site and encouraged festival-goers to bring their own reusable containers.
"Greenpeace advise that by far the best way to avoid plastic pollution is to reduce plastic usage. With more than one million plastic bottles sold at Glastonbury 2017, we feel that stopping their sale is the only way forward," they said.
And this week, we have more heartening news. As the BBC reports, Glastonbury organisers have just revealed that an entire dance arena in the festival's Shagri-La area will be made from plastic waste collected on beaches, streets and parks in Cornwall, Devon and Somserset.
Ten tonnes of plastic waste will be used to make a 360-degree arena known as the 'Gas Tower'. DJs and artists will perform there, including Sub Focus and Bicep. Beginning this month, rubbish will be collected and processed by Exeter City Council and recycled into materials that can be used to construct the stage.
The project is run by Keep Britain Tidy and the Orca Sound Project, in collab with Shangri-La Glastonbury. The creative director of Shangri-La, Kaye Dunnings, has called it an "important, pioneering project" and "a total game-changer."