Clean-up begins after 'plastic-free' Glastonbury Festival

The clean-up could take up to six weeks

Monday, July 1, 2019

An army of 1,300 volunteers have begun cleaning up the 900-acre Glastonbury Festival site as revellers make their way home.

The clean-up crews are collecting discarded discarded bottles, cans and food containers, despite the festival being advertised as "plastic-free".

No single-use plastic bottles were sold at the event, but attendees were not prevented from bringing plastic through the festival gates, with thousands leaving their rubbish strewn across the site.

Festival volunteer Freddie Whittaker vented his frustrations online, tweeting that guests should be banned unless they could "pass a recycling test".

"Glastonbury is good and everything until you realise almost everyone here is an adult who genuinely thinks it’s ok to throw litter on the floor because they paid someone £250 for the privilege," he wrote.

"Ban punters unless they can pass a recycling test imo [in my opinion]".

And comedian and festival attendee Mark Dolan, told talkRADIO the "colossal" piles of rubbish left behind were a “reflection on us as a society”.

“Whilst people are so happy to preach an environmental message, when push comes to shove they drop that bottle on the floor, they drop that aluminium can and I witnessed it myself,” he said.

Climate change and the environment were key themes at this year's festival, with glitter cannons showering crowds in biodegradable confetti, and Sir David Attenborough making a surprise appearance on Sunday to praise organisers for going plastic-free.

Two years ago the task of returning the festival site to a rubbish-free Somerset dairy farm took six weeks, and cost £785,000.

More than 60 tonnes of paper and card were recycled in the aftermath, along with 32 tonnes of glass, 45 tonnes of cans and 40 tonnes of plastic bottles.

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