CSCT students to engage Glastonbury crowds with sustainability
PhD students from the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies (CSCT) will attend the Glastonbury Festival 2019 to engage festival-goers with sustainability issues such as bioplastic use and microplastic contamination. This initiative is driven by the CSCT Public Engagement Committee, a group of PhD students who work to bring CSCT research and wider sustainability topics to the fore in non-academic contexts.
Glastonbury Festival is a 5-day event attended by over 200,000 people who can produce as much waste as a small city. The CSCT’s participation in the Glastonbury Festival is timely, considering the continuing efforts of its organisers to make this event more sustainable. Besides trying to improve recycling and waste processing practices on-site, for the first time this year single-use plastics will not be available to purchase at Glastonbury.
CSCT students will be attending Glastonbury with public engagement activities that explore how microplastics elude conventional water treatments, discuss how bioplastics are produced and processed, and offer people a chance to find out what the life of a research scientist looks like through VR.
After approaching festival founder Michael Eavis during a visit to the University of Bath to enquire about sustainability issues at Glastonbury, CSCT PhD student and Public Engagement Committee member Eleanor Rouke said: “Michael talked about how improving the sustainability of the festival is an ongoing challenge being looked into by a dedicated team. He mentioned how a few years ago they introduced paper cups instead of plastic cups and since then have also introduced and encouraged the use of reusable steel cups and bottles, which can be purchased before the festival as well as onsite throughout the festival. These cups and bottles are all made in Sheffield specially for the festival. To further reduce single plastic waste, the festival is introducing a ban on the sale of single use plastic drinks bottles, and encouraging people to refill their water bottles using the hundreds of drinking water taps installed onsite.”
“In a further effort to reduce microplastic pollution and prevent non-biodegradable microplastics from ending up washing into the local water systems, any of the traders selling glitter products at the festival this year must ensure that all of the glitter is bio-glitter.”
Students Eleanor Roake, Philippa Kearney, Jasmine Lightfoot, Viviane Runa,Kathryn Watt, Aneesa Al-Ani and Marco Piccini will be representing the CSCT at the Glastonbury Festival from 26 – 30 June 2019. Their fellow studentJamie Boden was also part of the organising committee.