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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Wonderfruit, Thailand’s pioneering, sustainable celebration of art and music has eliminated single-use plastic for its upcoming festival Dec. 14-17 in Pattaya, Thailand. The move is in line with Wonderfruit’s fundamental ethos of sustainability and community.

After joining Plastic Pollution Coalition earlier this year, Wonderfruit made major changes to reduce the festival’s plastic footprint:

  • “Wonderers” are encouraged to bring their own bamboo or steel flasks and bottles.
  • All food will be served on compostable tableware. Wonder Feasts will be served on areca nut palm leaf plates.
  • Drinks will be poured into cups made of bagasse, the fibre that remains after sugarcane stalks are crushed to extract their juice.
  • Reusable steel cups will be available for purchase. 

Now in its fourth year, Wonderfruit is built on six pillars: Arts, Music, Family, Farm to Feasts, Talks & Workshops, and Wellness & Adventures, all of which are informed by its ethos to use the event as a platform to catalyze meaningful and positive impact.

As part of the festival’s Scratch Talks, Dianna Cohen, co-founder and CEO of Plastic Pollution Coalition will speak along with Bea Johnson, author of “Zero Waste Home;” Dr. Singh Intrachooto of Bangkok’s Kasetsart University; and Anukool Saibejra, the founder of Folkrice. This year’s music line-up includes: DJ Richie Hawtin, Roots Manuva, Khruangbin, Gui Boratto, and more.  

Throughout its history Wonderfruit has pioneered eco-friendly initiatives, including making the event carbon positive and planting a mangrove tree in Myanmar for every “Mangrove Drink” sold.

“I commend Wonderfruit for taking action to reduce the festival’s plastic footprint on the earth,” said Dianna Cohen. “Congratulations, Wonderfruit for working towards becoming a zero waste festival.”

Take Action to stop plastic pollution.

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Among the principles of Burning Man is “radical self-reliance” and “leave no trace,” but each year more than 70,000 people use hundreds of thousands of plastic water bottles, food packaging, and other “disposable” plastic that will ultimately end up in the environment.

What can you do to make a difference?

The most important concept is to “pre-cycle” meaning reduce the amount of disposable products and packaging that you bring in the first place. This way you’re not just packing it out of the playa and dumping it somewhere else.

Often, Burning Man recycling ends up at a waste management facility in Reno, Nevada. Even though you may not be leaving a trace on the playa, you will be leaving a trace elsewhere on the planet. Plastic is a material that never goes away, and less than 8 percent of plastic is recycled in the U.S. The items you bring to Burning Man will stay behind you for the generations to come, even if you collect them for recycling. 

Radical self-reliance means that you have the power to impact our planet with your purchasing choices. 

Three main areas are the greatest contributors to plastic pollution at Burning Man:

  • Water Storage
  • Food
  • Costuming and Gifts

Plastic-Free Playa Tips:

  1. Bring water in stainless steel containers. Fill your containers in Gerlach or nearby to avoid transporting heavy water. Keep any plastic that contains water in the shade, as the sunlight expedites the chemicals leaching into your water like phthalates and Bisphenol A. 
  2. Request that everyone in your camp BYO cup, plate, and reusable utensils.
  3. Buy food from bulk bins in your own containers. Dried soups, hummus, beans, nuts, dried fruit, etc. work well. Use jars, cloth bags, and stainless steel containers to avoid plastic packaging. 
  4. Borrow or buy things like flashlights and googles secondhand instead of buying new. Unless you go to Burning Man every year or camp a lot, there might be quite a few things that you don’t actually need to own.
  5. Bring stainless steel water bottles / a travel mug to carry with you at all times so you never have to take disposables.
  6. Carry reusable utensils and a food container with you since wherever you go on the playa, someone seems to always be offering food. 
  7. Buy a mineral sunscreen in a recyclable container. 
  8. Make your own “wet wipes.” If buying wet wipes, purchase the type with flexible exteriors instead of the hard plastic boxes.
  9. Avoid tents, costumes, and other products with vinyl/PVC. PVC is one of the most toxic plastics, PVC contains hormone-disrupting phthalates and produces dioxin when manufactured.
  10. Consider purchasing a vintage canvas and wood camping cot. Many tents contain fire retardants and other harmful chemicals. 
  11. Ask visitors to bring their own reusables to your site. Look into certified compostable plates if needed. 
  12. Choose lip balm in compostable cardboard tubes instead of plastic. 
  13. Bring a bamboo toothbrush.
  14. Skip the single-use plastic glow sticks.
  15. Make your own ice. Instead of buying ice in plastic bags, fill up metal containers with water and freeze for your ice chest. 
  16. Collect your compost. Hanging compost to dry reduces the weight of your compost. 
  17. Avoid bringing plastic bags to the playa. Plastic grocery bags and trash bags blow away easily. Use paper or reusable bags. 

Even More Food Tips:

  • TetraPaks are not recyclable.
  • Choose packaged foods in paper or glass containers when possible.
  • If buying canned foods, choose those that come in BPA-free cans, such as Amy’s, Nijiya Market Brand, Muir Glen, Whole Foods Markets 365 brands, Wild Planet, Eden Organics, Native Forest, Vital Choice Mackrel and Sardines, Bionaturae canned tomatoes, and some Trader Joe’s. 
  • Raw coconut water has electrolytes and potassium; purchase in recyclable cans instead of TetraPaks.
  • Snack ideas for your day pack: Chia seeds, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, nuts, or homemade beef jerky
  • Foods that do not require plastic packaging, and will last till later in the week: Potatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, avocado, coconuts, carrots, onions, squash, cabbage, banana, lemons, limes, garlic, watermelon, pineapple, apples, and oranges.
  • Storing vegetables and fruit in damp burlap bags ensure good ventilation and reduce the need for refrigeration. 
  • Condiments that don’t require plastic packaging: Soy Sauce/Tamari, wasabi, balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, salt, pepper, sesame oil, sesame seeds, coconut oil, other cooking oils, raw honey in a tin or glass, hot sauce, horseradish, pickles, olives, bulk falafel mix, bulk tahini and hummus mix nutritional yeast (available in bulk), bulk popcorn, and bulk granola.
  • Bulk dried beans means you will have less trash.
  • Bring your own Sodastream for carbonated water and beverages
  • Purchase cans of beer or growlers, wine bottles without corks, and alcohol in glass.
  • Purchase juices in glass containers or make your own.
  • Aluminum trays for lasagna or meatloaf/veggie loaf frozen at home and placed at the bottom of your cooler will keep the rest of your food without wasting space for ice. 

This article includes tips from Beth Terry of My Plastic Free Life, Plastic Pollution Coalition, and Earth Guardians.

Art installation ‘Love’ by Alexander Milov. Photo by Gerome Viavant.

PPC member Steelys Drinkware provided free water refill stations and stainless steel cups and bottles; helps Outside Lands divert nearly 300,000 single-use plastic cups and bottles from the waste stream.

There was much to celebrate at the tenth anniversary of Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival Aug. 11-13 in San Francisco, California, USA. Artists such as The Who, Gorillaz, Metallica, Lorde, Tove Lo, and Dawes drew more than 200,000 people to the 3-day festival, and the festival upped its greening efforts by enlisting PPC member Steelys Drinkware to help divert nearly 300,000 single-use plastic cups and bottles from waste.

Steelys sponsored ten free water refill stations that allowed festival-goers to refill their reusable cups and bottles with filtered tap water. The water stations poured 142,092 liters of water over 3 days–the equivalent of saving 284,184 single-use 16-ounce plastic cups and bottles from waste.

In addition to the water refill stations, Steelys produced 4,000 reusable Outside Lands-branded water bottles for sale, and worked with festival organizers to launch a first-of-its-kind reusable wine tumbler program. The festival’s “Winelands” tent featured premium wines from Northern California. The 600 reusable Steelys wine cups sold out in less than four hours.

“The water refill stations are saving mountains of disposable plastic from consumption, and the reusable cups and bottles we produced for Outside Lands are moving much faster than anticipated,” said John Borg, CEO of Steelys, at the the end of the first day of the festival. “The reusable wine cup program was set up as just a humble test of the concept, but the overwhelming demand for the reusable cups is huge. Many people were disappointed that we sold out so fast. This proves to us that fans are very open to trying cool, practical alternatives to single-use disposables.”

“We are always trying to find new ways to improve not only the fan experience, but also our sustainability efforts,” said Rick Farman, co-founder of Outside Lands. “Providing festival goers with an alternative to single-use plastic is one of our waste diversion priorities and we’re proud to be further minimizing our waste impact through this initiative.”

An estimated 100 billion single-use cups and 50 billion single-use bottles are consumed in the U.S. each year. Less than 8 percent is recycled.

“Plastic never really goes away,” said Borg. “It stays with us forever and impacts the health of humans and living things on our planet. We need to change the disposable mentality that’s engrained in our culture. When 300 million people toss bottles and cups in the trash daily it adds up to devastating impacts on resources and the environment.”

“Consumption of single-use and disposable plastic cups has spiraled out of control,” said Dianna Cohen, co-founder and CEO of Plastic Pollution Coalition. “Reusable steel cups and containers will help us works toward source reduction and waste diversion that makes a real impact. We applaud Outside Lands and Steelys for their efforts.”

Based in San Francisco, Steelys Drinkware is a pioneering wholesale supplier of custom reusable zero waste cups, water bottles bottles, food containers, straws, and accessories that provide an alternative to single-use and disposable plastic. 

Learn how you can join the Refill Revolution. 

As Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival came to a close on Sunday, John Borg of Steelys Drinkware together with Plastic Pollution Coalition announced that more than 2 million plastic cups and water bottles were diverted from landfill through the Refill Revolution program since the inception of this program. 2017 marked the fourth year that Plastic Pollution Coalition partnered with Bonnaroo and Steelys to provide Refill Revolution branded reusable steel cups that eliminate the need for single-use plastic cups and bottles. 

This year, a number of musicians, actors, artists, and leaders added their voices to the Refill Revolution movement, including U2’s The Edge, actor and activist Adrian Grenier, and leaders of environmental organizations. 

Festival headliner U2 used S’well Bottles and their The Joshua Tree branded bottles on stage and The Edge used his Refill Revolution steel cup off stage at the festival. “Ocean plastic pollution is yet another alarming example of how simple everyday decisions can impact our natural resources,” said The Edge previously to PPC. “Reusable water bottles are a much cooler and smarter choice than disposable plastic.”

“Plastic straws are the gateway issue into raising awareness about single-use plastic,” said Jackie Nuñez, of The Last Plastic Straw. Adrian Grenier of Lonely Whale Foundation added: “The challenge is to get people to refuse single-use plastic straws. Right now we have the simplest opportunity to make a change. It’s time to stop the status quo.”

Nuñez continued: “Plastic straws are used for minutes at best and tossed ‘away’ in our environment, where they will outlive us all and generations to come. The stainless steel straws were a hit at Bonnaroo and a great conversation starter about solutions to the global plastic pollution problem.”

Grenier, who “loved the reusable cup program manifested by Plastic Pollution Coalition,” also promoted Lonely Whale’s Strawless Ocean resource, a toolkit that helps individuals talk to local businesses about their plastic footprint.

During a panel conversation on the Solar Stage on Friday, Grenier, along with Bonnaroo’s Director of Sustainability, Laura Sohn, and Henry Pincus, founder of Think Twice Drink Twice, encouraged festival go-ers to refill – even plastic bottled water before trashing it. “At least 25 percent of bottled water comes from municipal sources sold to you at a 500 percent markup,” reads the Think Twice Drink Twice website. “That means there’s a good chance you’re already drinking really expensive tap water.”

“The best part of Refill Revolution is the support we get from our fans,” said Laura Sohn, director of sustainability for Bonnaroo, who added the festival is working with partners to upscale sustainability programs to reduce even more waste. 

With over 2 million plastic cups and bottles diverted from landfill over four years, momentum for Refill Revolution is growing.

Thank you to our Refill Revolution partners: ChicoBag To-Go Ware Steelys Aardvark Paper Drinking Straws S’well Bottle Life Without Plastic and Dert Bags. To get your own reusable gear, visit our LifeWithoutPlastic store.

From its roots at ‘Roo, PPC is building a scalable Refill Revolution project for other festivals and events, supporting a true revolution in sustainability and plastic pollution reduction worldwide. The program provides festivals and event planners with models for developing a reusable infrastructure, top to bottom, while partnering on messaging and branding to get the word out to fans, followers, and other festivals.

Photos by Brandise Danesewich, Ross Stewart, Dianna Cohen, James Brown.

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If you could create your own community, what would it look like? Would it be sustainable and tread lightly on the earth? Each year, Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival transforms wide open spaces on “The Farm” in Manchester, Tennessee, into a place for tens of thousands of people to eat, drink, and experience life and music together.

“We have the luxury of creating an ideal community because we build the site from scratch each year,” explains Laura Sohn, Director of Sustainability for Bonnaroo. The tangible signs of the Bonnaroovian code (“respect the farm and respect your surroundings”) include the reusable steel cups offered at the festival that eliminate the need for single-use plastic.

For the past three years, Plastic Pollution Coalition has partnered with Bonnaroo to promote the steel cups and a greater Refill Revolution movement to reduce our plastic footprint on this planet. This year, Bonnaroo will take the revolution further by promoting education on sustainable communities within the smaller Planet Roo area.

“Planet Roo is a haven for sustainability and global consciousness, and a diverse group of non-profit organizations will be represented this year,” explains Sohn, who adds that the education Academy will have classes and workshops on everything from social justice ballads to cooking classes and how to take the sustainability message back to your community. “The reuse message ties in so well with the idea of what a healthy community looks like.”

In addition to promoting the reuse message, PPC will provide education on how to get involved in the Refill Revolution at home and how to start a plastic bag ban in your town. In the words of Bonnaroo co-founder Rick Farman: “The dream is that people take what they learn here and bring it home with them and live their lives differently.”

See also: Voices of the Refill Revolution

From its roots at ‘Roo, PPC is building a scalable Refill Revolution project for other festivals and events, supporting a true revolution in sustainability and plastic pollution reduction worldwide. The program provides festivals and event planners with models for developing a reusable infrastructure, top to bottom, while partnering on messaging and branding to get the word out to fans, followers, and other festivals.

Join our global Coalition.