Dingle food festival set to become waste free by 2020

Published by Sorcha McManigan on

September 27th, 2017

One of Ireland’s leading food festivals has announced that it aims to become zero-waste by 2020.

The Dingle Food Festival is set to start its fight against waste at this year’s festival which runs from 29 September to 1 October 2017.

The plan was devised by local sustainability group, Transition Corca Dhuibhne (TCD) in a bid to cut down on the estimated 300,000 pieces of rubbish produced at the festival every year.

Cutting down that figure will take place over the course of three years with Transition volunteers promoting compostable packaging, an emphasis on reusing instead of replacing products and manning waste stations to show people the correct bin for their waste.

Rinse stations will also be provided to wash out reusable products and a dedicated team of 50 volunteers will be on hand to supervise rinse and waste stations over the weekend.

In a bid to reduce plastic waste, organisers are also encouraging the public to bring their own tableware to the festival and 500 sets of reusable bamboo tableware will be on sale.

Venues and vendors are also being encouraged to swap plastic to compostable packaging and eco-friendly packaging will become mandatory for all food establishments by 2020.

Breda Enright of TCD said: “If we can show this works and succeed in achieving a waste-free food festival in Dingle, it will undoubtedly become a catalyst for other towns in Ireland to follow.”

Dingle’s plastic-free campaign is supported by actor Jeremy Irons, who starred in the 2012 documentary Trashed as he sought to discover the extent and effects of the global waste problem.

“It is in local efforts like this one, and in individual efforts like refusing disposable packaging in shops, that we make the difference and solve this crisis,” he said after a screening of his documentary in Dingle in May.

The Irish zero-waste movement has grown in recent times, with the success of the zero-waste festival in Dublin earlier this month. Cork are pending the arrival of its first zero-packaging shop and Irish retail giants are being petitioned for packaging-free aisles.

For further information on the festival click here.

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Sorcha McManigan

Sorcha has a Degree Honours in Journalism with French from DIT and is passionate about social issues and radio production