Over 7,000 music lovers descended on North Wollongong Beach, to enjoy a day of dancing and partying, right by the ocean for the Corona Sunsets Festival.
The Corona Sunsets Festival is a global festival series which has been setting up stages on beaches around the world and bringing the best dance music artists along with them. The festival has hit beaches in Japan, Mexico, UAE, Italy and now Wollongong!
A massive part of the festival is Corona’s ongoing campaign with Parley for the Oceans, an international organisation which addresses threats to the ocean, in particular the issue of plastic pollution. Corona and Parley’s joint campaign aims to protect 100 islands in six different regions around the world by 2020, through implementing Parley’s AIR strategy; Avoid, Intercept and Redesign. One of these islands, is of course, Australia.
To help protect Australian beaches, in particular our beloved North Gong, the entire festival was single-use plastic free. That means all cups were reusable, all straws were paper, all cutlery and food ware was compostable. Reusable drink bottles were available for purchase, or you could fill up a reusable cup for free at the water stations. All other drinks were served in recyclable aluminium cans.
These policies ensured that at least 37,000 single-use cups, 10,000 plastic straws and 5,000 sets of plastic cutlery were not used on the day.
It’s estimated an additional 1500 plastic bottles were saved as well. It’s amazing that just a few small changes can prevent a whole heap of unnecessary single-use plastic from polluting our oceans! Cheers to that!
We love that it’s becoming more and more popular for big festivals and events in Wollongong to go plastic free. With each event that takes on the plastic free initiative, sustainability continues to become the new norm and festival-goers recognise how they can reduce plastic use in their daily lives.
Making your event plastic free doesn’t have to be difficult, and in the long run the sustainable systems that are put in place can make the clean up at the other end quicker and easier. There are heaps of sustainable alternatives out there, from reusable cup schemes, compostable food ware, to allowing punters to bring their own empty drink bottles from home. And when the correct waste disposal schemes are in place as well, it means these sustainable alternatives can be disposed of the way they were intended, whether that be recycled or composted.
On top of going single-use plastic free, Corona and Parley went to great efforts to educate everyone at the festival about the enormity of the plastic pollution issue in Australia. One startling fact being that 1500kg of plastic waste enters Australia’s oceans EVERY HOUR.
The Pavilion was packed out all day, with punters making public pledges to break their habit of single-use bottles, bags, straws or coffee cup consumption. Plastic Free Wollongong volunteers were amongst the action, encouraging everyone to have their photo taken with a pledge card and then upload the pic to social media. For every photo uploaded with the hashtag #100islandsprotected, Corona donated $10 towards protecting Wollongong’s beaches, with the final count coming in at 173 official pledges. How good is that?!
When a company as globally recognised as Corona is spreading the plastic free message, their millions of customers can’t help but take notice! We hope this is a trend that continues to grow amongst international corporations, as well as our local businesses, events and festivals too!