• mark goldstone

Glastonbury’s ‘Green Pledge’ – do tough CSR policies diminish personal responsibility?

Updated: Jul 15, 2019

Whilst following this year’s Glastonbury festival from the comfort of my sofa the news that the festival has gone ‘plastic free’ was enthusiastically received.

I reminisced to my visits in the flesh in the 90s with visions of the sea of plastic waste that had accumulated by the end of the show thinking how times are changing for the better. It was even more heart warming to see Sir David Attenborough greeted by rapturous applause when thanking the crowd for saving 1 million plastic bottles. At that moment I really felt like the efforts Sir David and the Blue Planet team have made to raise public awareness of the word’s plastic problem is really making an impact.

In the days that followed it was thoroughly disheartening to read reports that, despite the efforts of the festival’s organisers, a huge volume of plastic waste had been left behind by revellers who had signed a ‘Green Pledge’ as a condition of their ticket purchase. I was even more shocked when I read accounts that there were ‘recycling bins everywhere’. This led me to theorising as to how this could happen:

a) Because the organisers had implemented such stringent waste disposal systems, the partygoers felt they could do as they wished with their rubbish and it would be disposed of safely.

b) A silent majority of the crowd were more concerned with having a good time clearing up after themselves.

Both theories are troubling.

If a) is correct can it then be assumed if businesses are more stringent regarding their CSR efforts, is personal responsibility eroded?

If b) is correct, have we hugely overestimated the impacts high-profile campaigns by Sir David et al is having? You can make a difference by voicing your values! Download our app today:

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