Zero Waste Festival report

Vision: 2025 launches Zero Waste Festival report and issues call to action

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Vision: 2025 has launched a report that highlights the challenges and opportunities for sustainable waste management at UK greenfield festivals and provides solutions-focused recommendations for event organisers. The Zero Waste Festival Report was created through in-depth stakeholder interviews, specialist knowledge from Resource Futures, input from an industry working group and a literature review.

A Citizen-Science Festival Waste Data Call is the next step. Vision: 2025 is asking outdoor events to collect basic data this summer, to deepen the understanding of waste challenges and establish benchmarks and solutions.

Responding to common challenges identified by outdoor event organisers’ around waste management and reduction, Resource Futures, a national waste and resources consultancy, was commissioned in 2022 by Vision: 2025 and Julie’s Bicycle.

Richard Phillips, Julies Bicycle’s climate change specialist, said: “This report will be a valuable tool for event managers to reduce waste and environmental impacts. There are some useful quick wins to improve efficiency and clear next steps for collective action to improve industry understanding and move toward more consistent approaches across the industry for everyone’s benefit.”

The Zero Waste Festival report highlighted key areas organisers can focus on to reduce environmental impact:

  • Separating food waste so that it can be composted.
  • Eliminating waste and maximising reuse, banning problem materials, encouraging reuse and having deposit return schemes.
  • Create a Materials Policy to manage waste reduction to increase recycling and reuse.
  • Waste data capture and reporting and baseline setting.
  • Strategic placement and emptying of bins.
  • Audience communications to positively impact behaviour onsite.

The project has been funded by the Dixon Foundation, supported by an industry working group of sustainability experts and industry stakeholders comprising Manchester City Council, Sustainable Sidekicks, Native Events, National Eisteddfod of Wales, and Festival Republic/Live Nation.

Vision: 2025 is now asking organisers to collect waste data from the outdoor events industry, to better understand the waste landscape at UK festivals in 2023. Organisers can take part by registering their interest and will be given everything they need to request data from waste contractors.