Page 4564 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 31 October 2018

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want to do whatever we can to make sure we are contributing to making our town a better place for the future.

The change has been taken up by many others, including Tasmania’s Dark Mofo, which has recently gone plastic free. Others are well on their way towards the plastic-free goal with the help of groups like Green Music Australia. This type of plastic reduction and avoidance is the surest way to ensure harm minimisation. Other events have made smaller steps towards the plastic-free goal by committing to milestones. Nonetheless, these are equally important commitments to reducing our overall plastic use.

For example, Caloundra Music Festival in Queensland has gone water bottle free. Caloundra Music Festival’s BYO H20 campaign made it the first festival in Australia to be completely free from disposable plastic water bottles. By asking all festival goers, crew and artists to bring their own reusable water bottles and by providing several refill stations, they have been able to make a significant reduction to their plastic waste. In one year this saved at least 60,000 plastic containers from the landfill.

While many have gone as far as banning single-use plastic water bottles, others have taken things a couple of steps further. The Lost Lands Festival is one example that has taken some unique strides forward in eliminating all plastics from their event. Their move away from single-use plastic bags, water bottles, straws and plastic serve ware has extended even to those back stage. They will also be using 100 per cent biodegradable waste bags that are totally compostable along with 100 per cent biodegradable and compostable baby wipes in the parent’s rooms. Even the material used for signage is recycled. The Lost Lands Festival has seemingly left no stone unturned.

While reduction and avoidance are the best avenues through which we may address our excessive plastic use, recycling is also a key area for improvement. The Wave Rock Weekender festival in Western Australia has taken the lead in encouraging recycling. The Wave Rock Weekender festival has been plastic free for almost 13 years now. But it is their waste system that best showcases their commitment to sustainability. Their bins are centralised and manned by at least one person to ensure that garbage ends up in the correct bin.

At regular music festivals, all waste will typically end up in landfill, but at festivals like Wave Rock Weekender, 75 per cent is diverted away. This is extremely significant because we know that festivals generate 43 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions for the entire music industry.

Similarly, our very own Multicultural Festival has been noted for its own recycling efforts. In 2018 the Multicultural Festival won the award for biggest recycler in the large event category in the Actsmart business sustainability awards. In 2018 an outstanding 8,829 kilograms were recycled at the festival.

These sorts of sustainability measures already taken by the ACT government are a great start, but it is time to take the next step and go completely plastic free. While the amounts of rubbish that we associate with the aftermath of large-scale events have

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