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Live Nation to ban single-use plastics at all music events by 2021

Across the globe, a Live Nation show is said to begin every 16 minutes on average. So when the world’s largest concert promoter announces a major sustainability initiative like banning all single-use plastics at its venues and festivals by 2021, the promise means something.

The two-year rollout is part of a new company commitment outlined by Live Nation’s coalition, Green Nation, which will search for better waste alternatives than resorting to plastic straws, cups, water bottles, and food trays. The plan goes further than eliminating plastics too, addressing a need to reduce their carbon footprint by relying less on fossil fuels and more renewable energy sources at their events.

Now the challenge begins for finding a safe and cost-effective alternative to plastic water bottles, for instance. Live Nation has said it will trail plant-based water bottles in Europe throughout the remainder of 2019 in hopes of finding a new industry standard for replacing water bottles. The company joins the growing number of music festivals, mostly across the UK, who are saying no to single-use plastics. For instance, Glastonbury banned vendors from selling plastic water bottles anywhere on site, which was said to curb the waste of more than 1 million water bottles.

“The adverse effects of climate change are undeniable, and we want to use our place on the world stage to be part of the solution,” said Michael Rapino, President and CEO, Live Nation Entertainment. “Together our concerts, venues, festivals, and offices around the world are setting new sustainability standards for live events.”

For a major corporate conglomerate like Live Nation to join the conscious effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle makes a resounding statement on several levels. First, it says they recognize their corporate responsibility in creating widespread change. With over 35,000 events held worldwide every year, the new charter will not only have direct effects on mass waste in terms of scaling back landfill trash.  The charter will undoubtedly reverberate onto fans, who see Live Nation leading by example, making efforts to recycle in their own daily lives. 

Next, the move sets precedent to other corporations across many industries that there is a need to follow suit. Some of these goals include a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, a zero waste-to-landfill rate at their offices and venues, and only working with partners and vendors who have shared sustainability policies.