Plastic – not fantastic

This year we are working hard to make bluedot festival as green as possible.

One of the main challenges to the environment is the huge build-up of plastics in the environment – and particularly in our planet’s oceans .

In order to reduce the ‘plastics impact’ of the festival, we are trying, in 2017, to ban plastic water bottles from the festival site. We have also banned single use plastic straws and plastic cutlery.

None of this is as easy as it sounds.

It’s a huge site and around 1000 people will be working on it in the 4 weeks before and after the festival, in addition to around 14,000 attendees who will be here over the weekend itself. The festival’s food and drink vendors are working with us on this, and are sourcing wooden cutlery, paper straws and serving trays where they can, which is a great help.

Of course, we need to make sure that everyone stays hydrated, and we have a duty of care to provide clean drinking water for everyone, whether they are working with us to deliver the festival, or are here to enjoy the weekend.

That’s why, for the first time, the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre is sponsoring the provision of re-usable metal water bottles for everyone working on the festival, and for all the scientists who are speaking, delivering Science Shows and working in the Star Field and Planet Field. We will also be selling them to festival attendees and directing everyone to water fill-up points.

Rather than putting crates of plastic bottles into artist green rooms, our artist liaison team will be providing water coolers – and every plastic bottle that makes it onto stage will be counted in and counted out again and recycled.

We’re signposting recycling points more clearly too (some people thought that we weren’t recycling waste last year, which wasn’t true – it was actually separated off-site). This year it will be clear to everyone that we take recycling very seriously indeed!

Some of our speakers will be talking about this (e.g. Erik Van Sebille ) – so come along to hear him cover the issues.

Help us to look after our festival – and to ‘preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known