Festivalgoers should pay tent tax, so says Clean Up Britain

Festivalgoers at Reading and Leeds Festival should be charged a £25 deposit to camp there and suggests that event organisers should set up a tent deposit scheme, so says Clean Up Britain, the body that campaigns for clean streets and communities.

The suggestion came after photos emerged showing litter strewn over fields, including tents and gazebos, at Reading Festival.

John Read, founder of Clean Up Britain, said: “Quite simply, festivalgoers would have to pay a £25 deposit when they bring in a tent to Reading or Leeds. This would be returned when they leave the festival with their tent – if they don’t, they forfeit their money.

“Money would be used to administer and manage a tent distribution scheme to send tents to homeless charities, youth clubs, community groups and any local organisations that could make use of them.

“Key point is that they must not go to landfill or just be chucked away. We suspect the vast majority of the tents will just need washing perhaps, and then can be re- used. In addition, however, we would urge the organisers of Reading and Leeds Festival to launch a sustained and highly visible advertising campaign in the run-up to, and during, next year’s festivals.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the organisers to be helping to convey very positive messages about the importance of the environment, and the need for people to be more considerate about their environmental behaviour. That’s all we’re asking.

“In fact, there’s a strong argument for saying Reading Borough Council and Leeds City Council should look at whether they need to insist that organisers embrace these sort of suggestions as a condition of granting the festival licence.

“No one wants to be a party-pooper, but the organisers do have a great opportunity to instil crucial environmental messages to tens of thousands of young people.”