81% of British festival goers reuse their tent, new survey shows



festival crowd

81% of British festival goers said they took their tent home to reuse, with only 5% saying they left their tent on site, a new survey shows.

The survey, conducted by waste management company Better Waste Solutions, analyses the British public’s recycling habits at music festivals.

Despite the positive results on tents, 11% of respondents admitted to dropping disposable cups on the floor at festivals, while 18% said they bring their own reusable cups and bottles. 35% said they throw used cups into recycling bins if available and 10% said they put the cups in general waste bins.

The survey also found that, even when festivals have a deposit return scheme (DRS), only 1% returned their cups; however, 26% said they give the cups to any attendees collecting cups for a financial reward.

Unfortunately, most abandoned tents aren’t recyclable or fit for reuse and are sent to landfill.

Although 67% of respondents said they don’t smoke at festivals, 21% admitted to dropping cigarette butts on the floor. This year, Glastonbury asked attendees to not bring single-use vapes and the BMRA (British Metal Recycling Association) has called on all festivals to ban the devices.

According to the survey, over 50% of respondents said they dispose of their unwanted belongings at home after a festival. 18% said they throw their items in available recycling bins at festivals, 21% opted for the general waste bins and 10% left them on the festival grounds.

Founder and Director of Festival in a Bag, Anne Kapoor, told Circular Online festivals should “encourage better purchasing decisions to show people that cheap camping gear isn’t necessarily the best idea.”

Glastonbury advised attendees against bringing disposable wipes in their “What not to bring” list and suggested a washcloth and soap instead. However, only 13% of survey respondents said they didn’t use wet wipes at festivals.

Commenting on the survey, Stephen Wilce, the founder of Better Waste Solutions, said: “Tents have long been one of the biggest waste concerns at festivals, with many believing that they were donated or recycled. Unfortunately, most abandoned tents aren’t recyclable or fit for reuse and are sent to landfill.

“Attendees are now encouraged to purchase durable tents likely to survive the weekend so they can be reused instead of buying throwaway, single-use options.

“Deposit schemes are a great way to discourage littering but it needs to be convenient otherwise people won’t partake. Festival goers also need clear instructions on which bins to place their cups which isn’t always available. However, attendees can take control by bringing their own reusable items.”

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