Survey finds more than 60% of festival-goers leave waste

Love Your Tent discover the extent of festival waste problem

Photographer: Virtual FestivalsVirtual Festivals on 18 May 2020

The survey heard from more than 1,200 festival-goers, from a number of countries, and found that 60% of these respondents admitted to previously discarding tents, with 36% unsure if their behaviour would ever change, and a further 35% said they would never change their behaviour. Despite this, 86% of those surveyed recognised that waste has an impact on the environment at festivals.

Campsite waste, such as tents and camping equipment, currently accounts for 86% of total music festival waste and, of that waste, 71% is said to cause lasting damage to the land.

Unsurprisingly the cost of tents was cited as a leading cause for this wasteful behaviour with 46% of those surveyed paid less than £75. Despite this only 28% said they'd accept an increase in festival ticket prices to include disposal of their tents.

Either way, the festivals are still responsible for any waste left on site and the clear-up operation is passed on to festival-goers in their ticket price, regardless of whether they left waste or not.

Teresa Moore, a leading sustainable event management/festival expert and Head of Department, Music & Event Management at Bucks New University, said: "Bucks has been delighted to support Love Your Tent and last year carried out the first comprehensive survey on camping at festivals on their behalf. Through our research we wanted to put some data behind the annual media coverage of campsite waste at festivals. What we found confirms a growing problem which is not confined just to the UK. As tent prices continue to fall, more cheap tents are discarded at festivals. It’s time for retailers to take their share of their responsibility and work with event organisers to tackle this problem."

Love Your Tent was launched in 2012 by Eco Action Partnership, the sustainability consultants to the Isle of Wight Festival and A Greener Festival.

They also launched the following Tent Commandments..

1. Thou shalt Love Your Tent.

2. Thou shalt not buy cheap, one-use tents, but invest in one that will last for years to come.

3. Thou shalt never leave your tent anywhere for someone else to dismantle and take to landfill (recycling facilities for all tent components currently don't exist).

4. Thou shalt RESPECT your tent and the area in which you pitch it, making sure you clean up after yourself……even during and after a weekend of partying at the Festival.

5. Thou shalt spread the word and encourage others to Love Their Tent.

6. Thou shalt clearly demonstrate your devotion to your tent and send evidence to (Keep it clean people!).

7. Thou shalt love thy neighbour and not disturb them by playing bongos at 4am.

8. Thou shalt follow all additional on-site guidelines in order to keep the respect for others and the environment.

9. Thou shalt join our community and keep up to date on news from Festival land as well as the chance to enter other exclusive competitions.

10. Thou shalt be happy campers and share the love.


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