Subscribe to our newsletter

Festivals are urging shops to stop selling "festival tents" to combat high plastic waste


Independent festivals across the UK joined together to urge shops across the nation to stop selling what they call “festival tents”, which they say encourages single-use. This is to try and combat the thousands of tents left in fields every year which contributes to the UK’s high plastic waste.

As festival season looms the latest from the AIF suggests that it isn’t just plastic straws and drinks containers that can turn festivals into an ecological nightmare. It’s tents too. An estimated 250,000 tents are left behind at festivals every year – AKA 900 tonnes of plastic waste – as a way of getting out of the festival site quickly but some 60 festivals have clubbed together to try and reduce this waste.

The Association of Independent Festivals, The AIF, are looking to tackle the larger retailers to try and curb this trend. With many selling “festival tents” as part of their range, the worry is that consumers are being encouraged to only use the tent once.

“We call upon major retailers to stop marketing and selling tents and other camping items as essentially single-use, and profiting from disposable culture,” said CEO Paul Reed. “AIF launches this campaign to raise awareness and highlight abandoned tents as part of the single-use plastics problem.”

“The message here is not to buy a more expensive tent – with a single tent carrying the same amount of plastic as more than 8,700 plastic straws, festival audiences can take positive action and reduce their carbon footprint simply by taking their tent home and reusing it, ensuring that it doesn’t become a single-use item this summer.”