Bottled water at concerts

plastic free concerts

Last night I was stoked to see my life long hero with my 11 year old daughter and a friend at Rochford winery for A Day On The Green.  Elton John came out in 43 degree heat, dressed in a bedazzled long sleeved suit and long pants and ripped through a set of beloved hits and some lesser known gems and he was nothing less than spectacular.  Sadly for us the show was ended early as Elton was hit with torrential rain all over him and all over his piano.  Like the legend that he is he did his best to play through it, crew ran to his rescue and he attempted to play under the tarp before he was ushered off.  

Being a 43 degree day we filled up our Earth Bottles with icy cold water and were set to go.  Our fellow Elton lover,  Brooke,  consulted an email from Ticketmaster about what we could and couldn’t take to the venue and alas, there it was in black and white, we could only take water in to the venue, and it HAD TO BE IN CLEAR PLASTIC  BOTTLES!  You could imagine how well this sat with me. Pulling in to the servo and reluctantly buying two plastic bottles of water.

A quick google found that the capacity of Rochford winery is 7000 people.  I am assuming that all 7000 people had to do the same as me.  So yep… you guessed it, one event 7000 plastic water bottles plus were consumed and mostly left on the ground at the event.  There may have been recycle bins (I didn’t see any).  Australia recycles only 36% of PET plastic drink bottles, so around 373 million plastic water bottles end up as waste each year.  So our dear Elton that means that if all of those bottles went to recycling only 2520 would have been recycled thats 4480 or more that will end up in landfill from just one concert.

I have contacted A Day On The Green to ask why this is and suggested that people bring in empty containers that thirsty punters can refill it they would only supply a refill station. 

I left with mixed emotions - thrilled I get to see my hero again (they have to reschedule his concert for another time!) and sad that I had to contribute to a problem that we are working so hard to resolve (or dehydrate and die!). As we filed out, I looked around at the muddy ground that was covered in all sorts of rubbish - I can’t imagine the clean up bill for something like that. I have kept that water bottle so that I can refill it for the next time. I don’t like to drink out of plastic water bottles and not only from an environmental perspective.  There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that bottled water can have detrimental effects on human health. One study found that many brands of bottled water were deficient of essential minerals such as magnesium, potassium and calcium and can leach harmful chemicals in to your blood stream. I know it’s only a one time use but it goes against my values and really gets my goat... 

I encourage everyone going to these events to provide feedback to the promoters and let them know your thoughts and suggestions and you would welcome an alternative.  If we come up with solutions rather than just complain maybe we will get somewhere.

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