Well, we’re back from Reading Festival 2012, and my, what a festival it was! We saw some truly amazing acts from the likes of Foo Fighters, Green Day, Kasabian, The Cure – the list goes on – and being a Student Recycling Champion really was a lot of fun.
But of course we were there to promote the recycling of drinks cans, and we did so in a number of ways. The first was by going out and mingling with the lovely people in the campsites. It was interesting to see that a lot of camps had made some grand creations out of their cans, so when we approached them and told them about the ExtravaCANza competition, it’s fair to say it went down pretty well. Hopefully they’ll be entering to try and win £1,000!
During the festival, we helped man the Every Can Counts football challenge, where people could recycle a can to have four shots at an inflatable goal. If they got in all four in there was a chance to win tickets to next year’s festival, so it was a pretty good deal. We were very impressed by the 7 people who managed to get 4 out of 4 goals; Zac only managed one goal the whole weekend!
There was also a wristband initiative run at the goal and at the campsites’ recycling points for those that went to the extra effort of recycling a whole bag of cans (great for those with terrible football skills). The uniquely numbered wristbands go into a separate draw for tickets to next year’s festival. It complemented a fantastic initiative that Reading Festival was already running – a beer token in exchange for a bag of recyclables.
We also worked inside the arena. To raise brand awareness we threw beach balls into the festival crowds, with the aim to get them shown on the big screen (a
fantastic excuse to see some bands and a lot of fun!). If you watch You Me At Six and the Green Day highlights, you may notice some Every Can Counts beach
balls flying around!
In addition to all this, Zac made an Iron Man suit out of recycled Coca-Cola cans, it went down extremely well with the crowds, here’s what he has to say
about his creation:
“Four or five years ago this wouldn’t have worked, but what with the popularity of the films it was a great way to get peoples’ attention and then communicate
the message of recycling in a simple and effective way. It was amazing being treated like a celebrity whilst knowing I was promoting something I believed in, and I would love to do it again sometime.”
Festival Republic very kindly invited us for a ‘back stage’ tour of their sustainability processes. They currently split up their waste into recycling, compost and general waste; did you know that all food merchants at Reading have to have compostable packaging? The various recycling streams are separated onsite and there are machines there that crush the sorted materials, like drinks cans, into large cubes. We got to see the machinery that DSS and Festival Green use to sort the three types of waste for transport and were introduced to the fantastic charity PCF.
The Philippine Community Fund collect ring pulls at the festival, which they then send to the Philippines to be made into jewellery, this gives work to adults and the revenue generated goes towards projects like education and housing.
We had an amazing time at the festival and would like to thank everyone, especially Festival Republic, the Reading Festival organisers, for allowing us to come to the festival and see behind the scenes. They are doing such a fantastic job at encouraging recycling – we’ve certainly seen first-hand what a daunting challenge it can be. Finally we would like to give a massive shout out to Becca, who unfortunately couldn’t make it, we loved her sticker idea!
Take a look at our Facebook gallery to see how we got on!