SUSTAINING A SUSTAINABILITY POLICY
In 2014 we carried out a large-scale baseline measurement to map out the festival’s level of sustainability. One of the most surprising conclusions was the fact that the festival-goers’ mode of transport turned out to be one of the biggest polluters. Less surprisingly, the percentage of waste generated at the campings was right up there as well. Since then we've placed an even heavier emphasis on various ecological aspects such as mobility and waste management but also catering, water, materials and sustainable energy.
General objective: to organise an event in which you produces less waste at Pukkelpop than if you would stay at home.
Pukkelpop organiser Chokri Mahassine:
“During the festival approximately 250 people work round the clock to keep the festival grounds and campsites clean. Scattered around the grounds are some twelve hundred 240l waste bins and two hundred 1,100l bins. I might as well have 10,000 bins put in but in the end it’s up to you to actually use them.”
- ECO-SCOOP 2019 : GREEN ENERGY MILL
The eye-catcher at this year’s edition is the Green Energy Mill, or GEM Tower for short. With a height of 21m, this collapsible hybrid tower is to undergo the ultimate field test at our brand-new Camping Comfy. So that’s a scoop and a debut all rolled into one. When the sun is out the GEM generates energy through the brightly coloured solar panels; when the sky is overcast the wind turbine takes over. All additionally generated energy is stored in a battery in the basic construction and enables the system to provide sustainable energy for the accommodations at Camping Comfy.
- FRESH OF THE BOAT
Since 2015 De Vlaamse Waterweg has been Pukkelpop’s inland shipping partner. Four years ago, 86 pallets with material for the artist backstage area were shipped. In 2016 it was the decoration materials for that same backstage area; in 2017 the main stage came via the inland waterways and last year 54 containers including the material for the prestigious 3D video wall arrived by water. By comparison, it would have taken 29 trucks to haul the same load by road. Once again this year, a great deal of material will be transported by barges and at the same time these containers will serve as a decorative element on the Pukkelpop meadow. For the 2020 edition we are already looking into the possibility of passenger transport.
- CREATIVE WITH CRADLE-TO-CRADLE
In the past, old flags and canvases have been made into unique PKP laptop and saddlebags. More recently, we had 5000 Pukkelpop keychains made from recycled beer cups, transforming a disposable item into an exclusive gadget. Last year the main focus was the PET project. The PET waste recovered from the festival site and the campings was recycled into your beer cups for this year’s edition.
- RECYCLING IS A LEARNING PROCESS
Every year, the pictures of discarded camping material and rubbish-strewn campsites say it all. In spite of all the initiatives and awareness campaigns (including the tongue-in-cheek Alpaca-My-Tent campaign), reducing the waste pile is a real problem. That is why, in addition to the GREEN-ID, i.e. the waste chip in the festival wristband that can earn you free food & drink tokens, a waste contribution was introduced. The Recycling Deposit can easily be recovered by handing in one properly sorted refuse bag (residual waste or PMD) at one of the Recycling Points. Non-perishables are collected by the Food Bank. In co-operation with Fost Plus a Fun Zone will be set up where the festival-goer can participate after payment of a piece of PMD. The aim is to raise awareness about recycling and collecting (even) more PMD at the camping sites. After each year's festival edition, sixty courageous employees and sympathizers of the Kringwinkel sweep the campsites to recover as many materials as possible.
- TO SORT IS A SPORT
While setting up and dismantling and during the festival, all waste materials are collected and properly sorted by RC Hades Hasselt in an impressive (temporary) container park at the festival site. EcoFest and GoodPlanet carry out additional checks and offer advice on how to upgrade our waste collection and processing policy. Since last year soft drinks for the crew are poured from large bottles into reusable cups instead of sold in small bottles; not only does this reduce waste volumes, the amount of wastage has also dropped spectacularly. Separate refuse bins are available in all waste-producing locations, depending on the type of waste fraction involved.. Throughout the build-up and dismantling phase, the crew is informed and coached on how to sort waste but also on the safe use of materials, strict adherence to safety guidelines and respect for the environment, the neighbourhood and their welfare in general.
- GOOD FOOD
The sustainable approach also pervades Food Wood, the festival’s culinary paradise. As of this year, the site has its own container park with guidelines that stallholders must adhere to at all times. For the upcoming edition the vegan options have been expanded considerably. Sustainable and exotic food options have become part and parcel of our society. Every food truck has a vegetarian alternative. Food Wood is a prime example and the same is also true of the meals served to staff: the veggie options are extremely popular.
- FREE PUBLIC TRANSPORT
For 100 years Pukkelpop has been synonymous with free public transport. As soon as the festival-goers’ mode of transport had been identified as one of the primary sources of pollution, efforts to promote the use of free trains or buses were stepped up even more. During the festival, all bus and shuttle services by Flemish public transport company De Lijn are free, including the night buses to nearly 40 municipalities in the province of Limburg. On Sunday evening the Belgian railways (NMBS) are also making a contribution by scheduling free night trains on top of the free round trip to and from the festival. Carpooling is also a popular option that is made even easier by the CovEvent app on this website. Naturally the bicycle is still the greenest mode of transport and lots of festival-goers use the free guarded bicycle parking right next to the festival arena. Our own Pukkelpop crew will also be racking up more cycling hours this year. The Hasselt start-up Kytes has made thirty e-bikes available to replace our mopeds. This saves as much as 400 litres of fuel.
- SAVE WATER
All the showers on the campsites are equipped with economy heads. The water taps for festival-goers, both on the campsites and at the festival, work with push buttons where possible. Vacuum toilets are used on the festival site, which require only 0.6 litres of water per flush. The urinals for the crew are equipped with automatic flushing so that water is not wasted unnecessarily.
- A JOINT EFFORT
An ecological philosophy can only be successful when everyone regard it as a joint effort as well as a shared responsibility.