The Dingle Food Festival is leading out on sustainable approaches to festivals and events in Kerry, showcasing that simple choices can reduce waste to almost nothing. With great progress made through its elimination of single use tableware at the 2023 festival, organisers are moving closer in their aim for the Dingle Food Festival to be a completely waste free event by 2024.
Transition Corca Duibhne (TCD) is a local sustainable group and they continue to work with Festival organisers to promote the simple message of reducing and reusing. ‘Simple choices can reduce waste to almost nothing’ says Darach Ó Murchú, TCD project coordinator. 'We managed a 25% reduction in waste going to landfill at last year's festival, this year we hope to triple that and reach 75%, and to be 100% zero waste in 2024'
To make it happen visitors to the most recent festival were advised to BYOB - Bring Your Own Bowl or plate and cutlery. Festival goers received a free Taste Trail green-ticket for every ticket book bought if they brought their own tableware from home to use at the festival. Food outlets were happy to serve their tastings to people on their brought tableware. There were also festival bowl and cutlery sets on sale for €5 at the Festival. Their multi-pronged (a great fork pun if ever there was one) approach worked to significantly reduce the amount of waste produced over the Festival weekend.
Waste Reduction Approaches:
- Rinse & Re-use: Rinse stations were conveniently located around the festival for cleaning dishes between tastings.
- Waste Segregation: Waste segregation stations were located around the town, each attended by volunteers offering advice on recycling and helping people to chose the right bins for their waste.
- Refill Stations: With the aim of reducing single use plastic bottles during the Festival, this year there were also water refill taps at each of the rinse stations to fill water bottles for free - thanks to funding from Kerry County Council.
“Being a zero waste festival is not going to be an easy task, but we are committed to this journey and when the Dingle Festival achieves this goal it will be the first major food festival to do so” says this year's festival director, Martin Bealin.