A volunteer handing out recycling bags at Electric Picnic
Source: Friends of the Earth
PEOPLE LEAVING ELECTRIC People today and tomorrow have been asked by Friends of the Earth to bring their camping gear home.
Over the course of the weekend, 150 volunteers from the organisation encouraged festivalgoers to not litter and use recycling or composting facilities where possible.
Their efforts included running a recycling scheme with Festival Republic where a refundable deposit was added to the price of each drink that could be redeemed once the bottle or cup was returned.
Friends of the Earth’s Dr Cara Augustenborg said the group received “a wonderful response” but are concerned about the amount of rubbish likely to be left behind.
“It already looks like we’ll exceed last year’s record of keeping 150,000 cups out of landfill by the end of the festival and it was great to see so many adults and kids being financially rewarded for doing the right thing at our cup deposit refund stations.
“However, after witnessing the sad state of the concert site following last year’s Picnic, we must appeal to festivalgoers to follow up all their good work of the last few days by taking home their camping gear and being responsible about their waste before they hit the road,” she said.
400 tonnes of waste
Friends of the Earth said the 55,000 or so people who attended Electric Picnic will generate at least 400 tonnes of waste. That’s over 8kg of waste per person in just three days, excluding all the tents and clothing left behind.
In a statement, the group said people left behind “a graveyard of discarded canvas, broken poles, abandoned chairs, stools, sleeping bags, food, clothes and soggy litter” last year.
“In 2016, many festivalgoers were under the false impression that left over tents and sleeping bags would all be donated to charity, but the potential reach of a few small initiatives were overestimated and more trash than ever was left behind.
This year, there are eight charitable organisations made up of approximately 100 volunteers attending to salvage as much reusable equipment as possible this year, but they can collect very little so most waste is likely to be incinerated or end up in a landfill.
“The otherwise beautiful Stradbally landscape was blighted beyond belief after previous festivals. It would be very sad to see that happen again after such a great event.”