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No matter how long the queue – use the loo: Festival-goers urged to do their bit for the environment

21 Jun 2022 2 minute read
Glastonbury. Photo by James Genchi on Unsplash

As the summer festival season cranks up, ecologists at Bangor University are highlighting one simple thing that festival-goers can do for the environment: use the loo.

Festival-goers may be thinking of ways to be environmentally friendly, through lift-sharing or using public transport, reducing their single-use plastic and taking their camping gear and litter home.

There’s another simple thing that they can do though, that can have huge environmental consequences. People attending ‘greenfield’ festivals are being asked not to pee on the ground, as this can then seep into nearby rivers and streams. And it may not just be pee that’s being released into the environment.

Damaging levels

Research by Bangor University, using water samples downstream from the last Glastonbury Festival, found that some illicit drugs reached potentially environmentally damaging levels in the river flowing through the site, most likely due to people peeing in the area.

No matter how long the queue – use the loo.

Dr Christian Dunn, who led the research said: “Some people at festivals take illegal drugs, like cocaine and ecstasy, and we found that these drugs can reach environmentally damaging levels in the nearby river.

“These drugs are most likely getting into the water by people peeing in the area,” explained Dr Dunn.

“Drugs, and other chemicals in your pee, can find their way into rivers relatively quickly so it’s really important to use the facilities provided by the festival organiser.

“The cocktail of drugs finding its way into the water can potentially harm all sorts of aquatic life.

“At Bangor University we’re doing more research into how damaging this problem is, and what we can do to remove the drugs from waterways, or stop them from entering them in the first place – such as using specially designed reedbeds and wetlands.

“You can do something to help though and that is – don’t pee on the ground at a festival. You may think you’re far away from a river, it’s only one pee, but don’t; just use the loo.

“Every pee matters!” Dr Dunn added.

Bangor University wants festival-goers to join the campaign and use the loo!

Read more about Bangor University’s research here……

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1 year ago

So what I am hearing is:
Take natural highs like mushrooms and weed only
A road gully will do if the queues are long

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
1 year ago
Reply to  Glyph

No it will not! See another article in NC today about surface water flooding in Wales. Use the Loo seems like a good idea, but one wonders how local water purification sites cope with the surge of drugged waste.

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