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HEBCELT MAKING BIG STRIDES WITH A SMALLER FOOTPRINT
11 Aug 2014
The award-winning Hebridean Celtic Festival has again shown it is one of the greenest events in the world by improving its recycling record.
The four-day event, which was held from 16-19 July in Stornoway and attracted an audience of around 14,000, has put in place a series of measures to protect its spectacular setting in the grounds of Lews Castle.
Almost all materials used by food and drink outlets in the main arena, including cups, plates and packaging, were re-cycled with festival goers increasingly using recycle bins to minimise the amount of waste going to landfill.
An incentive scheme, paying out 5p for each returned drinks cup, also proved popular among children attending the event, with one enterprising youngster collecting £27 in one night.
In all, 1,200kg of materials, including glass and cardboard, was recycled, compared to 920kg last year. A total of 810kg of bio-degradable organic materials was also collected, compared to 520kg in 2013.
It was another success for the festival’s 12-strong Green Team volunteers who oversee the recycling programme and after event clean-up.
One of the team leaders, Donald MacKinnon, a geography student at Glasgow University who is on a summer secondment to Zero Waste Western Isles, part of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said: “Most of the material in the festival’s main arena was recycled and that is very impressive.
“People take a great pride in the area and are keen to support the festival’s aims to make the event as environmentally-friendly as possible.”
The latest news further advances HebCelt’s green credentials. This year the festival became part of the Green Arts Initiative, run by Creative Carbon Scotland and Festivals Edinburgh to help Scottish arts organisations to be at the forefront of growing an environmentally sustainable Scotland.
Last year is was hailed as one of the greenest festivals in the world after being the only Scottish event to receive an Outstanding award from environmental campaign group A Greener Festival. In addition, it was shortlisted in the Greener Festival category in the UK Festival Awards.
Festivals that receive Outstanding awards are “exceptional events which have significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions, have excellent travel, transport and waste management programmes, protect the environment and minimise water use and communicate this to the public”.
Last year the festival also graduated from Carbon Trust Scotland’s Carbon Management programme.
HebCelt is committed to decreasing its carbon emissions by 14 per cent by 2017 to reduce its environmental impact. The Hebridean Celtic Festival Trust has drawn up a series of long-term aims on the sustainable use of resources, reducing emissions and raising awareness of environmental matters among volunteers, suppliers, contractors, artists and festival goers.
Caroline Maclennan, the festival director, said: “We are delighted with the ongoing success of the recycling efforts. It is striking that so many people are thinking about their environment while enjoying the festival.
“We are passionate about protecting our unique setting and by continuing to take recycling seriously we can make sure this happens.”
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