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Story / Water & Wastewater 12 Jan 2017

Illawarra Folk Festival fights against plastic waste

Organisers of the Illawarra Folk Festival at the Bulli Showground 12-15 January, have waged war against single-use plastic cups and bottled water with the support of Sydney Water and Green Music Australia. 

Artistic Director of the Illawarra Folk Festival, David De Santi said “we are trying to create a music scene free from plastic waste.

“We will have free, great quality tap water onsite supplied by Sydney Water and reusable bottles to keep everyone adequately hydrated.

“Everybody will get to do their bit for the environment as we say goodbye to single-use bottled water.

“Thanks to the support of Sydney Water and Green Music Australia we’re eliminating these unnecessary and environmentally harmful products and moving one step closer to becoming an entirely plastic waste free event”, said Mr De Santi.

Kylie Yeend at Sydney Water, said “we are delighted to have created a partnership with the Illawarra Folk Festival and Green Music Australia.

“We encourage patrons to bring their own re-usable bottle or to buy one of the festival souvenir bottles at the Festival Shop and fill up at any of the Sydney Water water refill stations around the site.

“With over 11,000 people expected to attend the festival this year, we’ll be saving thousands of plastic bottles from going to landfill or worse, littering our waterways, our streets or our oceans.

“Plastic bottles take up to 1000 years to biodegrade”, said Ms Yeend.

According to Cool Australia, as well as damaging local environments, the manufacture and transport of bottled water alone generates over 60,000 tonnes of planet-warming greenhouse gas pollution each year.

Illawarra Folk Festival souvenir refillable water bottles are available for purchase at the Festival Shop for $6. 

Green Music Australia is working with musicians, festivals, venues and studios to help the music scene reduce its environmental impact.

Tim Hollo, CEO of Green Music Australia, said: "Plastic pollution from disposable water bottles is one of the most visible environmental impacts of the music scene, and it's fantastic to work with the Illawarra Folk Festival and Sydney Water to help clean it up. Not only is a sea of plastic waste at music festivals ugly, but the plastic waste hurts and kills wildlife and contributes to global warming. With a little effort and forward planning, we can move to reusable bottles and refilling stations, and, through the power of music, demonstrate that the throw-away culture is not cool."