Glastonbury Bans Sales of Single-Use Plastic Bottles

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Festival-goers enjoy the atmosphere prior to the 2013 Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm on June 26, 2013 in Glastonbury, England.

The festival will eliminate the more than 1 million plastic bottles it sells annually.

Organizers for Glastonbury music festival in England have officially announced a ban on single-use plastic drink bottles. Vendors will no longer be allowed to provide beverages in plastic containers and they will not be allowed to use single-use plastic bottles for the festival’s backstage, production, catering or dressing rooms.

“It’s paramount for our planet that we all reduce our plastic consumption, and I’m thrilled that, together, we’ll be able to prevent over a million single-use plastic bottles from being used at this year’s Festival,” said Emily Eavis, daughter of founder Michael Eavis, in a statement.

According to Glastonbury partner Greenpeace, up to 12.7 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean every year and the best way to prevent plastic waste is to reduce plastic usage.

Glastonbury was not held in 2018, taking "a fallow year" in order to give the farm, the village and the festival team a year off -- a common practice for the festival every six years. In 2017, there were more than 1 million plastic bottles sold at Glastonbury. The festival stated on their site, “We feel that stopping their sale is the only way forward.”

The festival recommends attendees use reusable water bottles, which can be refilled at any of the hundreds of free water taps around on the Glastonbury site.

“We have a mains water supply from Bristol Water, with water of the same quality as your taps at home,” the festival’s site explains. “We are also tripling the number of WaterAid kiosks where you will be able to refill your bottle. Free drinking water will be available from all bars across the site.”

“I really hope that everyone -- from ticket-holder to headliner -- will leave Worthy Farm this year knowing that even small, everyday changes can make a real difference. It’s now or never,” Eavis added.

Soft drinks and water sold at the festival will be available in cans instead of plastic bottles. In 2017, the festival says it recycled nearly 45 tons of aluminum cans and expects that number to increase in 2019, while the 40 tons in plastic it recycled will reduce significantly.

Fans will not be prevented from bringing in plastic bottles, but the site encourages attendees to use reusable drinkware instead.

The announcement from the five-day festival comes after Eavis told the BBC in 2016 that the ban was “the big project” for 2019.

As part of its “Love the Farm, Leave No Trace” initiative, organizers have previously offered fans non-aerodynamic stainless steel cups. The cups were made from 90 percent recycled material and sold out in just 48 hours.