Festival Republic - who run festivals including Reading & Leeds, Download, Wireless, Latitude, and more - has announced further environmental improvements across its events.
Julie's Bicycle are a charity who support the creative industries to act on climate change, and Festival Republic has participated in their Creative Green Certification since 2007. In 2017, Latitude, Download, Reading and Leeds were awarded 4 out of 5 stars; an improvement on 1 star for Reading and Leeds and 2 stars for Download. It was the first year that Electric Picnic participated and it was awarded 3 out of 5 stars. The full reports are available to read online. They have been recognised as showing leadership in the field of environmental sustainability and work with a number of partners on their green initiatives including Julies Bicycle, Greenpeace UK and Friends of the Earth Ireland.
One of the initiatives is a plastic bottle refundable deposit scheme, operated with the Greenpeace events team, to encourage festival-goers to return bottles for recycling. In 2018 Greenpeace volunteers are operating bottle deposit return points at Download, Community, Wireless, Latitude, RiZe, Reading and Leeds Festival.
To deal with cups, Festival Republic has a mix across their festivals of reusable cup schemes, as well as paper cup recycling, that has seen the waste reduced at Latitude by 7 tonnes from the previous year.
Travel accounts for around 80% of a festival's carbon footprint, so public transport and liftsharing is encouraged, and £1 of the cost of a parking pass at Download and Reading is to go towards carbon balancing via charity Energy Revolution who invest in renewable energy projects. Behaviour changes and increased recycling on its festival campsites are also promoted to festival campers.
Vikki Chapman, Sustainability Coordinator, Festival Republic says "I am very excited about our green initiatives and working with our partners at the events this summer. With our long-standing ban on single-use plastic at our traders stalls, including straws for those who don’t need them, we will minimise single use plastic. The deposit return system and collection scheme will ensure that cups and plastic bottles will be returned to a central place for reuse or recycling. Deposit return schemes have been shown to improve recycling rates and businesses are key to driving change within industry. Festivals are fantastic places to start a movement by bringing people together to work towards solutions."
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