Triona Reid is one of our most enthusiastic recycling ambassadors in the Eastern Midlands Region. Much of her time this summer was spent bringing our recycling workshops to some of Ireland's leading festivals.

"I first became aware of VOICE two years ago when I was working for Friends of the Earth at Electric Picnic. When I heard about the new Recycling Ambassador Programme last year, I knew I had to get involved.

As an avid festival goer and dedicated environmentalist I was delighted to bring some additional environmental awareness to some of Ireland’s biggest festivals including Knockanstockan, All Together Now, Electric Picnic and the Airfield Festival of Food.

Having worked and volunteered at festivals for the past three years it was great to see many improvements this year. Festival organisers were keen to welcome environmental groups to host stalls and deliver workshops addressing a number of issues.

To my surprise the engagement I received throughout all of the festivals was exceptional. It was inspiring to hear about what people are already doing to reduce their environmental impact. For those who had not considered these issues before there was a thirst for knowledge and a willingness to make changes. 

Although festival organisers have made improvements in the past few years such as cup deposit and return schemes and replacing single use plastic with compostable alternatives, it would be foolish to think that our work here is done. Festivals create an incredible volume of waste.A move away from disposable culture and single use is the obvious solution to the problem but that requires a cultural shift that can only happen with time. In the interim I would urge all festival organisers to take more responsibility and introduce more waste reduction initiatives.I am optimistic that festivals across Ireland will continue to engage with environmental organisations in order to improve their sustainability over time."

“Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time” – Aliyyah Eniath