Gentse Feesten: Drive to increase sustainability and reduce waste

Gentse Feesten: Drive to increase sustainability and reduce waste
Different garbage bags for sorting garbage pictured the opening of the last Gentse Feesten in 2019. BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Gentse Feesten will return next week. For this latest edition, organisers aim to tackle wasteful packaging like never before.

In previous years, the festival (Friday 15 – Sunday 24 July), already pushed the use of reusable cups, resulting in a major decrease in the amount of rubbish left behind by visitors. It will create two clusters which will be almost completely waste-free.

"This is the next step in making our festivals more sustainable. After two years without the 'Feesten', the time has come to enter the next phase: more parties with less waste," Bram Van Braeckevelt, the city's councillor for the festivities, said in a statement.

The festival already replaced disposable cups with reusable ones and has banned plastic plates, forks and straws.

Two clusters of the festival, located in the Kouter zone (Boomtown) and in the Belfortstraat-Sint-Jacobs-Vlasmarkt zone will be waste-free to limit the amount of waste during the festival.

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At least one-third of all food stands at the Gentse Feesten will no longer hand out disposable packaging, but instead will switch to reusable tableware. Some stands will still be able to use non-reusable paper napkins, however, the city is also looking to transition away from this if this year's experiment bears fruits.

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