By Amanda Jennings, Director of Marketing Engagement
Last weekend we were back in the fields at Latitude for our first UK festival of the summer! We were so excited to be back with our festival family after what has been such a difficult year.
At Latitude, and at every festival we’re at this summer, we’ll be installing two reverse vending machines at each of our five pop-up shops. Customers will be able to put their plastic bottles into the machines and ‘earn’ money back to spend in the pop-up shop.
Festival-goers have previously responded well to the reverse vending machines in our pop-up stores, so it’s fantastic that we now have a festival-themed closed loop system in place for the bottles and cans we collect.
To do this, we’ve joined forces with sustainable pioneers Reborn to launch a new Co-op recycling initiative. Reborn make companies more sustainable by recycling and repurposing their plastic waste. Together we’ve launched a full 360 recycling model as part of our commitment to co-operating for a fairer planet.
Reborn will use its fleet of electric vehicles to collect all plastic waste after the festivals. They’ll repurpose the waste to create future clothes and uniforms for Co-op to use at festivals, creating a full 360 recycling model.
The collected plastic will be shredded and turned into RPET pellets at Reborn’s new flagship recycling centre in Sarratt, Hertfordshire. These pellets can be transformed into almost anything ranging from uniforms, merchandise, umbrellas, worktops and furniture for Co-op to use internally and at future events.
Reborn has also made 2,000 t-shirts and 450 hoodies for Co-op staff to wear at the 2021 festivals, which have all been made from completely sustainable materials.
The t-shirts and hoodies have been made from 40% organic cotton and 60% RPET made from 18,000 plastic bottles collected from the ocean. That’s the equivalent of six recycled plastic bottles per t-shirt.
Our festival focus hasn’t stopped there. This season we’ve introduced membership at festivals for the first time, so our members can earn, spend rewards and redeem digital offers when they’re out in the fields. At Latitude we had an exclusive member deal where our members could redeem a free pack of Irresistible Sea Salt & Chardonnay Wine Vinegar crisps, which retail at £2 in the pop-up shop!
Wellbeing has also been a big focus and this year we’ll be hosting our very own yoga classes for our festival staff. At Latitude, yoga classes were held exclusively for colleagues at 8am, noon, and 4pm, giving our brilliant colleagues some much-needed downtime before or after their shifts.
Keep your eyes peeled for more content throughout the summer, as we continue to shine a light on our experience and impact at festivals this season.