07 September 2018

Electric Picnic Highlights Throwaway Society

Electric Picnic Highlights Throwaway Society

Let's lead this conversation into action

This time last week, 55,000 people were getting themselves ready for the biggest festival of the year. It's unfortunate that media coverage over the past week hasn't been about highlighting the culture or art that was showcased, nor the campaigns or goodwill that many organisations brought to the weekend, it's been about recklessness and carelessness. Various news platforms reported the incredible waste that was left behind on Monday morning, estimated at 10kg per person.

So who's to blame, the festival or the attendees? This problem is not uniquely Irish, it's becoming more common at festivals and events in countries all across the Global North and has been the case for many years. Despite efforts being made by organisations to promote reuse, recycling and sustainability, the situation is getting worse. It could be said that the attitudes that lead people to leave festivals in such disarray is a symptom of our throwaway society. We no longer value where things come from and what happens to them after use, because everything is so replaceable and cheap.

Instead of pitting the festivals against the punters on who is responsible, both need to make more of an effort to change the culture of such events by making more conscious decisions and changing individual behaviours.

The mess left behind at this year's Electric Picnic was indeed horrific, but sometimes we need these shocks to remind us that we still need to do more as society to rethink and change our behaviours towards resource use, consumption and waste. This year's overshoot day took place on August 1st, Ireland's was May 11th. The rate we are using the Earth's resources would require 1.7 Earth's. 

GFN Country Overshoot Day 2000

The message is clear, we cannot continue down this path. We need to lead these conversations into real action. Think about what actions you can take, talk to your your local supermarkets and tell your TD's to support waste reduction initiatives and climate actions. We all need to chip in if anything is going to change.

Mindy joined Ivan Yates this week to chat about the waste left behind at EP this year, catch up at the link below;

It wasn't all chaos at Electric Picnic, check out the great work that was done by Friends of the Earth with the Sick of Plastic Campaign promoting deposit and return through their cup return initiative. 

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