Festival tent

Heading to a festival this year? Take Your Tent Home

Anyone who’s been to a festival will know all about the tent carnage that gets left behind afterwards.

In fact, an estimated 250,000 tents are left at music festivals across the UK every year. But it’s a common misconception that they’re collected and reused by charities – most aren’t collected and can’t be recycled, meaning the vast majority end up in landfill.  

Take Your Tent Home and Say No to Single Use

That’s why the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has launched a campaign to encourage festivalgoers to take their tents home. It’s backed by more than 60 independent festivals across the UK including Shambala, Boomtown Fair, Boardmasters, Kendal Calling and End Of The Road – and we’re pleased to be supporting the campaign, too.

The ‘Take Your Tent Home’ campaign issues a call to retailers such as Argos and Tesco to stop marketing and selling ‘festival tents’ as single-use items, which result in almost 900 tonnes of plastic waste every year.

Paul Reed at the AIF says that retailers have a responsibility to market tents more responsibly:

“The research out there narrows it down to this – a third of abandoned tents at festivals can be traced back to major retailers like Argos and Tesco. I think a lot of it is to do with the marketing of these items and the implication these are festival items and only for single-use.”

The campaign video sums it up pretty well with the startling fact that the average tent weighs 3.5kg and is mostly made of plastic – the equivalent of 8,750 straws or 250 pint cups.

Plastic-free festivals

Last year, RAW Foundation partnered with the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) in a groundbreaking campaign called Drastic On Plastic. The campaign empowered 65 festivals commit to eliminating all single-use plastic at their events by 2021.

Since then, the festivals have been busy working towards their pledge. In a survey,93% of respondents said they have ditched plastic straws at their events, and 40% banned the sale of drinks in single-use plastic on-site.

At RAW Bottles, we believe that one of the simplest solutions is ditching single-use plastic water bottles in favour of reusable alternatives. So, we were especially happy to hear that 67% sold branded reusable drinks bottles, and 87% promoted the use of reusable bottles.

This is such a brilliant start and shows that plastic-free changes at festivals are achievable, but there’s still more to be done. We’re thrilled that the AIF is tackling the huge problem of tent waste at festivals in this year’s Take Your Tent Home campaign.