Innovation That Matters

Recycling and free love at Roskilde Festival

Work & Lifestyle

Trash is always a problem at summer music festivals, and Denmark’s Roskilde Festival has typically been no exception. After the 2007 festival, it took more than 500 people several weeks to clean up the heaps of garbage left behind—at a cost of more than one million euros, the festival’s organizers say. That’s why this year’s festival, which took place earlier this month, promoted the slogan “Less Trash—More Music” in its effort to control the leftover garbage. Special red garbage bags were handed out to festival-goers throughout the course of the four-day event, with rewards in the form of free beer or chocolate milk for each bag collected, along with a chance to win more beer, festival kits, tents or tickets to next year’s event. Through a competition sponsored by Tuborg, collectors of the most garbage (1,048 bags!) also won backstage passes to Neil Young’s performance. For recyclables, meanwhile, Roskilde provided stands to collect cans, cardboard, drink containers and more. In exchange, participants were reportedly rewarded with cash refunds of roughly EUR 0.10 per bottle, allowing the most zealous of the festival’s 67,000 paying attendees to come close to recouping the cost of their tickets. About 97 percent of the cups used at Roskilde’s concession stands were brought back for recycling as a result, according to PSFK. Meanwhile, more than 1,600 sleeping bags left behind were donated to the homeless. As if the music, the sustainability and the rewards for being clean weren’t enough, attendees at this year’s Roskilde got a little extra free love, too. In addition to the usual wrist band, festival-goers were given a condom (donated by Hanky Panky) and a set of earplugs (sponsored by TrygFonden), too. In Roskilde’s words: “Say goodbye to herpes and tinnitus.” In our words: Follow examples like that, and say hello to a new generation of loyal customers! Spotted by: PSFK via Matthew Cua



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