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27 February, 2007

Tents of despair

I had no idea that the single biggest problem for waste managers at major music festivals is the number of discarded tents to be thrown away in the post-festival clear up.  The Independent reports that festivals like Glastonbury dispose of about 10,000 abandoned tents each year.

That's appalling. Presumably the ex-residents aren't regular campers, but if they're festival-goers surely they'd be able to use tents again. Even if not, the irresponsibility of just leaving entire tents behind staggers me – I literally find it an alien concept. This littering isn't dropping a sweet wrapper or cigarette butt; how could anyone even consider that it's okay to leave a tent for someone else to clear up?

I suppose some would consider public flogging using discarded tent poles a little extreme, so it's lucky that the Indy article mentions another solution: recyclable cardboard tents.

It's not a solution at all, of course. It's a capitulation to the convenience culture of disposability, and an encouragement to continue. Okay, the immediate problem has to be addressed, and the invention should help to minimise the consequences of littering, but a solution would be to tackle the abandonment itself.

Just give me five minutes and a tent peg....

[Via Spinneyhead.]

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