Waste Warrior Wiggy Felstead at Noosa Festival of Surfing
Waste Warrior Wiggy Felstead at Noosa Festival of Surfing

Festival dramatically reduces waste by 89%

THE results are in from the Noosa Festival of Surfing on their sustainability report and it is good news for Festival Organisers, World Surfaris.

In their second year of managing the Festival and following their sustainability policy working closely with Tourism Noosa and Plastic Free Noosa, they have achieved some exciting benchmarks.

This year, 100 per cent of waste collected at the event was sorted, thanks to the event organisers contracting a paid staff member to specifically manage the waste. Impressively, the total waste generated was reduced by 89 per cent from the 2019 event, largely due to the implementation of a zero-waste bar. Recycling was also able to be vastly reduced through the waste being separated.

A key metric for events is waste diversion sent to landfill. The Noosa Festival of Surfing efforts significantly improved this year, from 42 per cent to 58 per cent diversion. This is a huge achievement given the nature of the event, being an open venue, and was largely possible by the uptake of compostables by Plastic Free Noosa members on Hastings Street.

The Eco Brewing Co & Diablo Ginger Beer ‘zero-waste’ bar was a huge success, which had a big impact in overall waste reduction and staffing, producing less than 10kg of waste per night, all of which was compostable. This is a great example of what planning before an event can achieve.

The Unitywater Water on Tap Van was again at the festival and not only provided a visible and important community message about single-use plastics but assisted in delivering key results including 4783 single use water bottles being eliminated and 1100 reusable water bottles being sold.

Chad Buxton from Plastic Free Noosa said “An open event has little control of what comes into the event, so our Plastic Free Champion members on Hastings Street played a large part in the sustainability of this year’s Festival. The commitment by the event organisers to separate all the waste coming in was fantastic, and we managed to send almost 60% of the total waste to our local commercial composter Earthborn Australia, and turn it back to dirt”.

“The results for the Noosa Festival of Surfing are commendable and not only provide a great benchmark for their 2021 event, but will also provide some ideas and solutions for other events as they embark on their sustainability journey” said Mr Buxton.

Plastic Free Noosa is now managed with Tourism Noosa as part of Tourism Noosa’s commitment to being recognised as Australia’s most relaxing, desired and sustainable tourism destination. All events sponsored by Tourism Noosa are required to work closely with Plastic Free Noosa to reduce single-use plastics at their events and to have a sustainability policy to guide their event.

The Plastic Free Noosa program is proudly supported by Noosa Council.