A standing ovation for litter free outdoor events

Australians love a good party and our music festivals are the talk of the town, but can we do it litter free?

Communities - Resource Recovery

March 30, 2023

Tags: Communities

Outdoor concerts and festivals bring with them the threat of littering and the environment shouldn’t suffer for the sake of our entertainment.

A recent ABC report likens a rubbish filled waterway to “the day after an outdoor concert,” associating concerts and music festivals with extensive litter.

This is hardly surprising. While 90% of Australians say they separate their waste at home, only 72% say they do so when on holiday according to the 2022 Recycling Behaviours Report.

The good news is that there are several measures event organisers can put into place to prevent a mess after any outdoor event.

Pictured: Cleanaway wheelie bins and skip bins at an outdoor event.

Australians want to do the right thing but sometimes it’s easier to just drop the waste if there’s no dedicated waste disposal site in sight.

According to our 2022 Recycling Behaviours Report, 64% of Australians say they sort their waste every time when at home.

However, this drops to just 36% when in public.

Providing waste and recycling bins with clear signage and instructions on what goes into the bins will encourage event goers to do the right thing and reduce litter.

Pictured: Resource Recovery Officer Evelyn doing a visual audit of a recycling bin to check for contamination at Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Clear bins frequently and keep grounds clean

The broken window theory states that if an environment looks clean and pristine, people are less likely to damage it.

However if it looks unkempt to begin with, then there’s a higher chance of people adding to the mess.

Frequently emptying bins can encourage their use and prevent errant dumping of waste.

The same goes for staff and volunteers: the more there are at the event, the better the chances of keeping the environment clean and tidy.

Encourage waste reduction and proper disposal

Concert and festival organisers can encourage the use and consumption of environmentally friendly solutions.

This goes beyond having enough bins at the venue.

Solutions can range from not selling food and snacks in single use packaging, providing compostable cutlery and even setting up water stations to refill drinking containers.

Some music festivals in Europe have even declared a ban on plastic bottles. Similar campaigns have been kicked off in Australia such as the BYOBottle campaign by Green Music Australia.

This initiative has been amplified by the Sustainable Concerts Working Group (SCWG) with a spinoff  BYOBottle campaign involving artistes such as Jack Johnson, P!nk and Bonnie Raitt.

Today over 120 Australian artists are now BYOBottle Ambassadors.

Collectively the entertainment and events industry can do a lot to encourage event goers to protect the environment and keep outdoor areas in perfect form for the next big gig.

Contact us today to learn more about how your outdoor event can make a sustainable future possible together for the community and the environment.