AIF launches campaign to stop major retailers advertising ‘single-use tents’ for festivals #TakeYourTentHome

As reported in a recent article from the BBC, the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has claimed shops need to do more to prevent tents being left behind at festivals.

Over 60 festivals in the not-for-profit association, have stated that marketing tents as “festival tents” implies they are single-use and have urged shops to reconsider how they advertise them.

In its recently-launched, consumer-facing campaign, the AIF has called on retailers such as Argos and Tesco to do more in a new bid to reduce single-use plastic. Comp-A-Tent research suggests that 36% of leftover tents at festivals are bought from Argos or Tesco.

Speaking on Victoria Derbyshire, Anna Wade from Boomtown Fair stated that the “myth” that charities collect leftover tents at the end of festivals to reuse elsewhere is “dangerous and damaging”. 

Approximately 250,000 tents are left behind at festivals all over the UK each year, with the majority going straight to landfill. Some festival-goers wrongly believe tents are collected to go to charities or to be reused.

“The average tent weighs 3.5kg and is mostly made of plastic – the equivalent to 8,750 straws or 250 pint cups,” the AIF website stated. “Major retailers have a history of selling cheap tents marketed specifically for festival-use.”

AIF CEO, Paul Reed said: “We call upon major retailers to stop marketing and selling tents, and other camping items, as essentially single-use, and profiting from disposable culture.”

The AIF has pledged to rid single-use plastic from its events by 2021. Its Drastic on Plastic initiative aims to ban plastic supplies such as bottles, cutlery and cable ties from festival sites.

Molly joined the editorial team in March 2019. She has several years’ experience working in broadcast and journalism, as well as marketing and PR. Past experience includes working for the BBC and independent publishing houses. If you have a story you think Molly might be interested in, please email: molly@eventindustrynews.com