Festivals should be fined if they don't meet green standards – study

Many support a levy that could fund environmental initiatives.

Three-quarters of the public think festivals should be fined if they do not meet green standards, new research suggests.

Some 74% of people said they supported a levy to raise funds for environmental charities, according to a study from the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).

The figures, based on a YouGov survey conducted in May 2019, come as around 200,000 people prepare to head to Glastonbury Festival this week.

Glastonbury Festival Goers 2017 Departures
Rubbish is collected near Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage (Ben Birchall/PA)

Many are expected to abandon their tents at the end of the five-day event at Worthy Farm in Somerset.

The study also indicates nearly eight in 10 members (78%) of the British public think festival-goers should clean up their own waste after an event.

And more than three-quarters (77%) say festivals should have robust environmental policies to offset their carbon and waste footprints.

When asked if they would be willing to pay a small fee towards environmental charities along with their ticket, half (52%) strongly agreed.

A further 84% said events have a responsibility to be environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Glastonbury, for example, features an on-site wholesale market to reduce air miles and compost toilets to recycle human waste.

Glastonbury Festival 2017 – Day 2
Crowds at Glastonbury in 2017 (Yui Mok/PA)

And earlier this year, the long-running festival announced it was banning single-use plastic drinks bottles from the site.

Numerous other UK festivals also host bike schemes in the hope revellers will cycle to their event.

Susan Pinkney, head of research at the foundation, said: “The data is telling us that festival-goers are increasingly conscious of their environmental impact when going to an event.

“This taps into a broader trend in society, such as the environmental cost of fast fashion and single-use plastics being widely criticised in recent months.

“Our numbers show that there’s broad support amongst the public for UK festivals to be as sustainable as possible.

“This support is quite consistent regardless of age or gender, which suggests that environmentally friendly policies are here to stay at UK festivals.”

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