Plastic-Free Festival Goings

Keeping the plastic-free mantra going when adventuring with a crew of people can be tricky, especially when these outings revolve around multi-day camping festivities. But there’s nothing a little planning can’t fix. And really, who doesn’t somewhat plan for a weekend away?

Three meals a day and snacks in between to cater for… map it out! If you’re a regular plastic-free fanatic, then you probably do this anyway. Firstly, get an idea from your mates on what they want to eat. No doubt many of their treats will come wrapped in plastic so think of some alternative replacements. For example:

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From this breakdown it’s clear that there are three places or maybe even two to get all your goods for the weekend:

•       Fruit and Veg Grocer/Market

•       Food Co-op or Bulk Food Store

•       Supermarket

Weekend away preparation can be hectic as is let alone trying to squeeze in a visit to three different stores. If this is the case, write a shopping list for each store with specific brands included and recruit your mates to go on a plastic-free shopping experience equipped with the list. Ideally, the grocer and the co-op will be where you fill the majority of bags and jars. The last few things can be picked up at the supermarket.

I have to disclose there was a vote for wraps on our recent Easter escape shopping list. And as I have not yet found a plastic-free alternative without making them, we splurged on two bags of wraps… and a bag of Easter eggs!


There is a level of compromise that comes with introducing your mates to plastic-free festival goings. No doubt I’ve copped some flack but it’s usually followed by a whole heap of gratitude on the drive home when they’re feeling that little bit healthier from all the plastic-free goodness.

There are other cosmetic things like baby wipes, and of course glitter that will be on the cards for camping and festivals. If you can steer everyone clear of glitter, which is essentially hundreds and thousands of tiny pieces of sparkly plastic, and suggest everyone brings a flannel to wash, then you’ll be onto a winner!

I was pretty fortunate (and stoked) in that my weekend revolved around a festival adventure where there was a ‘Leave No Trace’ message. That meant you ship out what you ship in, rubbish included! There was not one bin to be found. Better yet, the food stalls sold everything in reusable containers. These containers were plastic but the difference is they’re not single-use plastics! There was a washing up bucket where we dropped our chopsticks, bowls, plates, cups once finished, and these were washed up by the staff and offered to the next customers.

There were no serviettes given out with samosas, the deep-fried tofu was wrapped in a piece of lettuce, the ice cream – for the cup lovers – was served in a little ceramic cup with a metal spoon, and the Chai Tent gave out little mugs of goodness.

It was pretty much a dream for me…

Yet, I’m not living in some utopian bubble. For some it didn’t work. I spied some noodle bowls at campsites, some chai mugs under trees and some cans in the compost loos. But hey, we have to start somewhere and let’s be honest it would be quite remarkable if it worked 100%…after all, we are human!

With the help of festivals like Confest who are pioneering the way for zero-waste events, there’s change coming and as always it’s up to us to spread it. So do your best people, cut back on the single-use (that includes tents!), buy quality over quantity, and this shift in consciousness will grow with your help.