Highlands & Islands

Music festival HebCelt recycled 80% of its waste

KT Tunstall Image copyright KT Tunstall
Image caption KT Tunstall is among this year's HebCelt headliners

The Hebridean Celtic Festival is seeking to reinforce its green credentials after recycling almost all its rubbish last year.

This year's event, which begins later in Stornoway, will offer advice to festival-goers on reducing their environmental impact.

HebCelt banned plastic straws in 2014 and the following year introduced re-usable cups in on-site bars.

Last year it asked caterers to try to cut out completely plastic items.

The festival's acts were also offered refillable water bottles.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A national festival awards scheme recognised HebCelt's efforts last year

Organisers said that by the end of last year's event 2,980kg of waste on the site - 80% of all rubbish generated - was recycled or sent to a biogradable waste digester.

The overall effort earned HebCelt a highly commended award in the 2018 A Greener Festival Awards, the only Scottish festival to pick up a prize.

HebCelt director Caroline Maclennan said: "We are blessed to have an outstanding and unique environment in which to stage HebCelt and we have always taken very seriously the need to protect our surroundings.

"We have been ahead of the game in many respects, such as banning plastic straws five years ago and introducing a ban on single-use plastic last year. We have also made huge strides in cutting waste and using biodegradable and recycled material.

"But we want to continue to improve our actions and spread the word amongst our audience, artists and contractors."

Image copyright The Shires
Image caption The Shires are also appearing at 2019's HebCelt

This year's festival, which begins later on Wednesday, features a new initiative.

Western Isles housing and energy agency, Tighean Innse Gall, will be offering festival-goers advice on how they can become more environmentally friendly and make their homes energy efficient.

HebCelt was first held in 1996.

This year's acts include KT Tunstall, The Shires, Newton Faulkner and Tide Lines.

Image copyright Tide Lines
Image caption The line up includes Tide Lines

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