Beat-Herder inspired by David Attenborough's 'save the planet' message to go plastic free

David Attenboroughs urgent save the planet message inspired Beat-Herder chiefs to adopt a greener future for the award winning Ribble Valley festival.
David Attenboroughs urgent save the planet message inspired Beat-Herder chiefs to adopt a greener future for the award winning Ribble Valley festival.

David Attenborough’s urgent save the planet message inspired Beat-Herder chiefs to adopt a greener future for the award winning Ribble Valley festival.

“Like millions of us, we saw those very powerful (Attenborough) documentaries about the climate change threat to our planet, and we realised that we had become part of the problem too,” said Beat-Herder’s co-founder Nick Chambers.

“We were selling drinks in plastic bottles, and we said: 'What can we do to change this?'

“It was of paramount importance to reduce plastic consumption at the festival.”

And last year Beat-Herder were one of the first festivals in Britain to switch to canned water when they teamed up with Austrian company, Can-O-Water.

The UK uses 38 million plastic bottles every day, but once recycled an aluminium can is back on the shelves in six weeks.

However, Beat-Herder organisers say their bill for supplying water in cans to festival vendors for next month’s three-day jamboree (July 12-14) has tripled in cost.

“We’ve invested a huge amount of money switching from plastic to aluminium cans, but we believe it is a price worth paying to help the environment,” said Nick.

“At first, we expected a bit of a backlash from our festival-goers, but overall we got a very positive reaction.

“One day, all plastic bottles at supermarkets will disappear, and water will be sold in cans.”

Nick added: “Beat-Herder has been running for 14 years, and we’ve noticed a change in attitudes towards our environment.

“And it is possible to see how collectively galvanised we have become for our desire for change with the recent Extinction Rebellion protests making headlines worldwide.

“But there’s got to be a culture change from the festival audience and a realisation of their actions.”

Beat-Herder, which runs this year from July 12 to 14, has signed up to the Association of Independent Festivals Drastic on Plastic initiative, pledging to rid their sites of single-used plastics by 2021.

“It is a hard thing to do, becoming instantly plastic-free at a festival, catering for between 10 and 12,000 people,” added Nick.

“For example, despite our best efforts, we still haven’t found a cost-effective alternative to cable ties, which we use in their thousands.”

Again, this year, no Beat-Herder bar will serve drinks in plastic bottles, cups or containers in a bid to stem the tide of plastic waste.

All straws will be paper ones and there will be no sauce sachets.

For the last five years the festival has banned plastic cutlery and polystyrene food trays.

Beat-Herder, July 12-14, will welcome headliners Rudimental, Groove Armada and Sister Sledge.

For details visit beatherder.co.uk or 0844 888 9991.