(Picture: Getty Images/EyeEm)If you’ve ever been to a festival, think about how much waste is left at the end when everyone packs up to go home.
A lot of the waste comes from single use tents – cheap tents that people pick up either before they arrive or at the site and then leave them there rather than carrying them home.
The Association of Independent Festivals is asking retailers to stop marketing tents as single use items and to encourage people to use them again in the future.
The organisation, which represents independent festivals like Boomtown and Boardmasters, is also encouraging festival-goers to take their tents home with them.
Each year, an estimated 250,000 tents are left at music festivals across the UK. Most aren’t collected by charities and can’t be recycled, meaning the vast majority end up in landfill.
The average tent weighs 3.5kg and is mostly made of plastic – the equivalent of 8,750 straws or 250 pint cups.
Major retailers have a history of selling cheap tents marketed specifically for festival-use.
(Picture: Getty Images/EyeEm)A report by the organisation from 2018 showed that 9.7% of people attending one of its festivals had left a tent behind that year.
The Take Your Tent Home campaign follows the Drastic On Plastic campaign, launched by AIF last year in partnership with RAW Foundation.
AIF CEO Paul Reed said: ‘We call upon major retailers to stop marketing and selling tents and other camping items as essentially single-use, and profiting from disposable culture.
‘AIF launches this campaign to raise awareness and highlight abandoned tents as part of the single-use plastics problem.
‘The message here is not to buy a more expensive tent – with a single tent carrying the same amount of plastic as more than 8,700 plastic straws, festival audiences can take positive action and reduce their carbon footprint simply by taking their tent home and reusing it, ensuring that it doesn’t become a single-use item this summer.’
Co-Founder and Director of Shambala festival Chris Johnson said: ‘We’re finally waking up to the climate crisis en masse. The stuff we use is part of the problem – everything has an impact, usually hidden from the user.
‘As festivals, we can work with audiences to inspire better decisions, reduce single use and waste, and minimise ecological damage at this critical moment in history.’
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