CELTH Research: Strategies for Sustainable Events

A 36-page report composed by CELTH in the Netherlands that discusses the topic of making the events sector, most notably festivals, both more competitive but also more sustainable.  The focus is on minimising waste generated by events including how to deal with specific items such as plastic cups, understanding the impact that waste has on those attending an event and to provide a set of tools that can be utilised by event organisers. 

In terms of specific types of waste the report indicates that smokers are not bothered about cigarette butts on the ground whereas non-smokers are, with it argued that campaigns to prevent this type of littering need to be both powerful and playful. 

Research at a festival that had a deposit/refund system for plastic cups revealed that the amount of waste on the ground was far less than at festivals not operating a similar scheme. 70% of visitors to the event expressed a positive view regarding the scheme. 

A separate research exercise is described in which festival-goers were asked about their attitudes towards waste.  Findings included that most respondents believed it was the organisers who should be responsible for clearing up waste generated at an event but that greater cleanliness was associated with having a better experience at the event. 

The report concludes with what it terms a self-assessment tool for festivals that wish to deliver both environmental and social value.