About the event

As the UK’s biggest music festival – and one of the largest in the world – Glastonbury is unavoidably associated with excessive amounts of waste.

The scale of the problem meant we had to use innovative methods to tackle it. Our inaugural efforts were successful, and also revealed that there is significant need for expansion in future years.

  • 180,000

    festival attendees

  • 513

    food traders

  • 4

    EighthPlate volunteers


The challenge

Glastonbury presented a unique challenge: it was the first festival we visited, and twice the size of all of the others. And it’s not just its size that means it creates a lot of food waste – as there are no other festivals immediately afterwards, there’s a higher level of waste per trader as they don’t have an opportunity to sell their leftovers.

The Real Sausage company getting into the spirit of things.

The process

A breakdown of what we did, when we did it, and how…

  • 1 Established EighthPlate HQ onsite and used posters to make ticket holders aware that they could donate uneaten food.
  • 2 Collaborated with trader managers to inform traders that we would be collecting food onsite.
  • 3 Delivered a walk-in refrigerator to site on Monday morning along with our kit in two refrigerated vans.
  • 4 One driver and one volunteer per section collected leftover food from traders and loaded it into the van.
  • 5 Logged food by type, weight, temperature and use-by dates using system devised with the help of Nationwide Caterers Association (NCASS).
  • 6 Took food in vans back to our on-site refrigeration unit, where it was sorted according to perishability. Drove urgent food back to FareShare South West.
  • 7 Glastonbury’s vehicles collected donated food from designated spots and delivered it to our on-site refrigeration unit. Our four volunteers spent seven hours sorting the food into usable and unusable stock.
  • 8 Took all food back to FareShare South West, sorted into orders, and shipped out to one of 180 organisations that we support.

Unique considerations

Glastonbury was the only festival that we needed to hire a walk-in refrigeration unit for. By doing this we managed to save around 2.5 tonnes of food that would have otherwise perished in the heat on Monday morning.


The outcome

We collected a staggering 7.5 tonnes of food. And we learnt that there’ll be more edible food for us to salvage in future years; probably around 11 tonnes from traders and around 6 tonnes of campsite waste.

  • 7.473 tonnes

    of food collected in total

  • 3.432 tonnes

    of food collected from campsites

  • 17,793

    meals distributed

  • 180

    organisations received the food


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