David Attenborough thanks Glastonbury for banning plastic bottles

Broadcaster says move against plastic at major festival would have broader impact

David Attenborough at the Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, England. Photograph: BBC

David Attenborough at the Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, England. Photograph: BBC

 

World renowned naturalist David Attenborough appeared on-stage at the Glastonbury Festival on Sunday to praise the event’s ban on single-use plastic bottles, delighting festival-goers who have had to queue instead for tap water.

The broadcaster’s Blue Planet II documentary, which has been shown in countries around the world, has highlighted the dangers of plastic pollution to marine life. The 93-year-old said the move against plastic at the world’s largest greenfield festival would have a broader impact.

“That is more than 1 million bottles of water that have not been drunk by you in plastic,” he said to cheers and applause. “Thank you, thank you.”

Revellers during the Glastonbury Festival on Sunday. In 2017, the last time the event was held, more than 1 million single-use plastic bottles were sold on the site. Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters
Revellers during the Glastonbury Festival on Sunday. In 2017, the last time the event was held, more than 1 million single-use plastic bottles were sold on the site. Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Growing calls for action by the public in part prompted about 180 countries to agree last month to sharply reduce the amount of plastic that gets washed into the world’s oceans, the United Nations said.

Plastic bottle ban

Glastonbury has banned the sale of water, soft drinks and alcohol in plastic bottles this year. In 2017, the last time the event was held, more than 1 million single-use plastic bottles had been sold on the site.

This year festivals-goers were encouraged to bring their own bottles or buy steel flasks that could be filled with water at taps and water kiosks around the site.

Some queues built up at water refill sites in soaring temperatures on Friday and Saturday, but there were few complaints among the 200,000 or so people on site.

“We’ve never once not been able to fill up, and it’s lovely ice-cold water – so what else would you want?” said Amanda Hawkins from Bristol. “So – no problem at all.” – Reuters