Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Music festival marks sixth year by going plastic-free

Music festival marks sixth year by going plastic-free

THE Beacon Festival in Watlington will be plastic-free this year.

The sixth annual event, held at Watlington Hill farm, will use plant-based cups provided by Vegware, of Edinburgh, at its three bars.

Vendors must use the same, or similar, and plastic straws have also been banned by the organisers.

People attending the music festival on Friday and Saturday, June 21 and 22 will also be encouraged not to use single-use plastics.

Michele Pethers, one of the organisers, said: “We started the process last year by asking people to pay a deposit on their glasses so they could re-use them over the weekend.

“We couldn’t actually go plastic- free then because we already had the glasses in stock.

“That worked very well from a litter point of view with people using their glass on numerous occasions over the weekend. This year we wanted to go one step beyond that. We’re going to get all our cups and the other materials for serving food from Vegware.

“We’re also encouraging people to bring their own reusable cups and tankards and we will ask people to re-use the Vegware cups even though they are compostable.”

Mrs Pethers said traders were getting used to plastic-free events.

She said: “Three years ago it wasn’t that easy because it was very, very expensive. We’re lucky that our local Friends of the Earth group has given us some extra funding to help pay the extra cost of this.

“It does come at a price. Last time it probably cost between £500 and £800. It may cost a little bit more this year.

“Every year these products are coming down in price and are becoming more widely available.

“I think it’s incredibly important and it’s the way we have got to go as a festival, not only for us and the impact it has on the earth, but also to help raise awareness in the people who come to the festival that you don’t have to buy plastic.

“We would like to go further and get in compostable toilets and that sort of thing but one step at a time — we’re a only very small team of volunteers.”

Halver, the winners of the festival’s teen stage last year, will open this year’s event.

The headline acts will be Tankus The Henge on the Friday night and Guns or Roses on the Saturday.

Other attractions will include a kidzone, a health and wellbeing zone and a literary area.

Organisers will be raising money for charity and hope to top last year’s total of £13,000, an event record.

The beneficiaries will be the Thames Valley Air Ambulance, Watlington and Chalgrove Children’s Family Hub First Steps, the Footsteps Foundation in Dorchester, disabled charity Thomley in Worminghall and mental health charity Restore in Oxford.

For tickets, visit www.beacon

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