It’s fair to say that the new generation of festival and concert goers has grown up with the concept that we need to reduce our use of single use, disposable plastic – this is now embedded in our psyche, but as always, more can be done. It was only in the late 1980s that the plastic bottle of water came to the fore, completely transforming the beverage industry and also our consumer habits.
With up to 60% of the human body consisting of water and us constantly drawing on this, it comes as no surprise that drinking water is a ‘win-win’: it’s cheaper than a lot of other products and also has significant health benefits. Over time, however, this convenience has turned to a curse – you only have to look online or watch a TV documentary about our planet to see how many of these plastic bottles end up in the oceans, for example. If you take into consideration that it takes over 450 years for a plastic bottle to completely degrade, you can understand how society is 100% right to be trying to move away from this model.
So, in response to the question, “What should festivals do?” the second most popular answer was “Provide more water filling stations”. Not provide more water points, or provide more access to bottled water, but provide more water filling stations, straight away indicating that many festival goers and large event visitors are already taking their reusable water bottle with them and are, therefore, looking for more places to fill these up.
OK, for the festival site, it’s not so much of a commercial profit-maker, but from a sustainable and, quite frankly, a reputation point of view, it’s definitely a good thing to do. Water filling stations, therefore, go one step further and mean that yes, it’s cheaper, and yes you can stay hydrated, but at the same time you are also contributing to a decline in the use of plastic bottles on site…and with over 1 million plastic bottles sold each minute in the world – and by 2050 at the current rate it is estimated that there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish.