BYOBottle Launches Internationally to Eliminate Single-Use Plastic and Green the Music Industry

In conjunction with Earth Day, the Sustainable Concerts Working Group (SCWG), led by multi-platinum recording artist and PPC notable member Jack Johnson and his team, announces the launch of BYOBottle (Bring Your Own Bottle), an environmental campaign that engages artists, venues, festivals and fans to reduce plastic pollution in the music industry by promoting reusable water bottles and water refill stations at music events.

BYOBottle, modeled after Green Music Australia’s successful BYOBottle Campaign, encourages artists to travel with reusable water bottles and to take action by including language within their riders, requesting venues to provide water refill stations backstage in lieu of disposable water bottles, and more.  BYOBottle also encourages music venues and festivals to commit to greening by providing water refill stations for both fans and artists. Fans are also encouraged to make their own BYOBottle commitment and show their support by bringing their own reusable water bottles to concerts and festivals whenever possible, reducing the use of single-use plastic, and sharing their BYOBottle commitment on social media.   

“There is a powerful wave of momentum building to reduce plastic pollution. BYOBottle is a campaign that the entire music industry can unite around, and everyone I’ve been talking with is excited to join and be part of a solution. Expectations are changing around what makes a positive and successful music event, and sustainability is a huge part of that. I’m excited to help show what concerts can look like if artists work together with fans and venues or festivals to reduce plastic waste,” said Jack Johnson.

Artists who have signed on in support of BYOBottle include Ben Harper, Bob Weir, Bonnie Raitt, Dave Matthews Band, Dawes, Dead & Company, Empire of the Sun, Flume, Jack Johnson, Jackson Browne, Keb’ Mo’, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, P!nk, The Lumineers, Maroon 5, Steve Earle, Steven Van Zandt, Wilco, and more.

Lollapalooza, one of the largest music festivals in the United States, has committed to provide an increased amount of water refill stations for both fans, artists, and staff and will continue to make a wide range of reusable bottles available for purchase. C3 Presents will also promote the BYOBottle message at other festivals throughout the year including Austin City Limits Music Festival and Sea.Hear.Now. Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Ohana Festival and Australia’s Byron Bay Bluesfest, Splendour in the Grass, and Falls Festival have also signed on. Venues have also made the BYOBottle commitment to provide water refills stations to artists and fans, including 30 Live Nation owned and operated venues and Forest Hills Stadium.

“Live music brings people together and provides an amazing platform to reach fans. C3 has a long history with sustainability and we are proud to support programs like BYOBottle, which helps bring attention to the important issues like the plastic pollution crisis and provides a simple course of action to drive positive change in greening the music industry,” said Farid Mosher, Senior Guest Services Manager at C3 Presents.

In support of BYOBottle, Jack Johnson will host a press conference at Bluesfest (Byron Bay, Australia) on Saturday, April 20th, alongside musicians Lukas Nelson and Nicky Bomba, of Melbourne Ska Orchestra.  

For the full list of pledged support visit, www.byobottle.org/partners.

Artists, venues, festivals, non-profits, business partners and fans who visit www.byobottle.org and join the campaign are provided tools and resources, including environmentally focused “Green” language for artists to include within their riders, reusable water bottle and water refill options and vendors, guides on how to promote reusable pint cup programs, eliminate plastic straws and reduce the overall plastic footprint of shows with access to case studies, research, articles and much more.

Humans purchase about 1,000,000 plastic bottles per minute, and it is predicted that by 2050 the oceans will contain more plastic, by weight, than fish. The music industry’s momentum to combat the plastic epidemic is growing and BYOBottle continues the pursuit by working with artists, venues, festivals and fans in efforts to turn the tide on plastic pollution.

About Sustainable Concerts Working Group (SCWG):

The Sustainable Concerts Working Group is a collective of music industry leaders and environmental advocates who believe in an environmentally responsible and sustainably driven music community. SCWG brings together experts in the field to disseminate tools and resources that can help each stakeholder: artist, venue, festival promoter, fan to do their part to drive long term positive social and environmental change.

Lead SCWG organizations launching this BYOBottle campaign include the Jack Johnson team, Green Music Australia, REVERB, EFFECT Partners, Plastic Pollution Coalition, Live Nation, AEG, C3 Presents, Partisan Arts, Synergy Global Entertainment, and guidance and support from the Johnson Ohana Foundation, Julie’s Bicycle, We-Refill, Tangaroa Blue, UPSTREAM, Algalita, Lonely Whale, Surfrider Foundation, 5 Gyres, the UN Environment Clean Seas campaign, and many more.

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“All the lights above us, you can see the different colors, all those little bits are from the beaches in Hawaii, which is kind of like a filter out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, collecting all the plastic that’s floating in,” said musician and activist Jack Johnson to the crowd of cheering fans at the Santa Barbara Bowl on Tuesday night.

The Monday and Tuesday night shows were his first events to be 100 percent free of single-use plastic: no single-use plastic cups or water bottles were for sale at the venue. After both shows, event organizers were stunned to see no garbage anywhere on the ground. How did they do it?

Reducing single-use plastic has been at the forefront of Johnson’s work for over a decade. Johnson, a PPC notable member, has implemented a plastic free backstage since 2005. Since 2007, all shows have offered fans free water through water-refill stations. In 2014, Johnson successfully helped launch a Reusable Pint Program with the Santa Barbara Bowl, which has since inspired venues across the country to follow suit, including the Les Schwab Amphitheatre in Bend, OR, and other venues owned by Live Nation.

The Reusable Pint Program provides fans with an alternative to single-use plastic cups. Fans who purchase this reusable stainless steel cup at venue concessions will receive a discount on all beverage refill purchases for the life of the cup. 

“The idea is to keep the conversation going about where all this plastic is actually ending up,” Johnson said of upcycled lights to the crowd on Tuesday night. “It doesn’t go ‘away’ when you throw it away. There is no ‘away.’ It just ends up in the oceans. It takes thousands of years to break down. So we brought all this plastic, and a lot of it is single-use. And every night at these shows and after people leave, when you see all this plastic on the ground… then I think what are we doing at these shows? So we’re trying to get rid of the single-use plastic tonight! If you have a cup hold it up!”

The crowd cheered and Johnson looked out on a sea of red and blue steel cups, cups that were given out for free to attendees of the Santa Barbara Bowl shows. 

“This is the first plastic-free show we’ve done here,” Johnson told PPC in a live video on Tuesday afternoon. “As we left [last night] to see no plastic on the ground, that was a pretty cool sight. Thanks to the Santa Barbara Bowl for working with us. This is the first time we’ve have no single-use plastic for sale at all.”

John Borg, the founder and CEO of Steelys, who creates the steel cups, thanked Johnson for gifting reusable cups to every fan, band member, and member of the crew. Borg praised the Santa Barbara Bowl for embracing change and facilitating the plastic-free shows.

In addition to touring plastic-free, Johnson’s summer tour hosts nonprofit organizations in a “village” at each show. Johnson’s social action network All At Once, brings together the organizations and helps fans make a positive change in their local and world community. Fans could make a plastic-free commitment, visit the organizations, and get rewarded with free stuff like a reusable steel straw. 

“This collaboration between Kim and Jack Johnson, All At Once, The Santa Barbara Bowl, Reverb, Steelys Drinkware, and all the music fans out there is tremendous and inspiring,” said Dianna Cohen, co-founder and CEO of PPC. “Since the founding of PPC in 2009, we’ve seen an arc of change where musicians, artists, venues, merchandize companies, and the promoters are coming together to create more sustainable touring. From our work over the last four years at Bonnaroo, which has saved over 2 million plastic water bottles and cups from landfill, to the tremendous example that Kim and Jack Johnson have created with their plastic-free touring, we are seeing a wave of change!”

Learn how to start a Refill Revolution near you. 

Take the pledge to refuse single-use plastic. 

Thank you Jack Johnson and the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation for matching donations to Plastic Pollution Coalition this month. Donate here.