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Staying Green

Read about our environmental sustainability initiatives and how you can help

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Green Messengers

Do you have a passion for the environment and want to help make a difference this summer?

We will be looking for dedicated recyclers full of energy to help with our mission to keep the festival clean and green.

By volunteering as a Green Messenger for four 6-hour shifts, you will gain free access to the festival and will play an integral role in making Reading a cleaner site.

Applications coming soon.

Staying Green

How amazing it is to be camping in the beautiful Richfield Avenue with your mates while listening to your favourite bands? Let’s all work together to keep it that way. Since 2007 we have been putting in place a number of initiatives so you can help us by doing your part, while still having an awesome festival.

We work very closely with Julie’s Bicycle, a not-for-profit organisation working on sustainability within the creative industries, as part of their Industry Green certification. In 2016 we achieved 3 / 5 stars, thank you to everyone for participating!

View the 2016 report here.

Travel Impact

Travelling to the festival makes up ¾ of the total carbon emissions generated. Please travel by public transport or carshare to help reduce this.

We partner with Big Green Coach to provide coach travel to the festival and have some exciting incentives for coach travellers.

How you can help

There will be sets of three bins in the campsites and arena so you can separate all your rubbish into compostable, recyclable and landfill waste. They will be clearly marked with what can go in them so please check before you chuck.

  • COMPOST IT – When you buy food from the traders, all of what your food comes in is biodegradable. That means plates, cutlery, napkins and coffee cups can be chucked in the compost bins along with the food scraps. No plastic please!
  • RECYCLE IT​ – All sorts can be recycled. Plastic bottles, aluminium cans, newspapers, magazines, cardboard – just add it to the right bin.
  • GENERAL WASTE – Take a look at the recycling bins to see if it can be recycled before dumping it all into the general waste. If you are not sure ask a Green Messenger.

Please remember that there is a working farm on the festival site; please do not leave tent pegs, cigarette butts, bottle tops, broken glass or any other debris around that may endanger cattle or wildlife

Campsite recycling points

When you arrive you will be given a clear plastic bag for recycling to help keep your campsite clean. When you’ve filled up your bags, bring them to the Recycling Points in the campgrounds and hand them in. You can get more recycling bags from here.

Cup and bottle deposits

Every bar cup and all plastic bottles that you purchase at Reading will have a returnable deposit of 10p.  Minimum of 10 items for £1, a full recycling bag of bottles is worth £5.  There is a dedicated return point in the arena (marked on the site map) where you can redeem your deposit.

What to do with your tent

If you’re packing ready for the festival weekend remember to pack wisely and only bring essential items. We ask you to please take all your camping gear home with you – it means you don’t have to buy it again next time you come! We can only salvage so many tents after the festival, and the majority of left tents end up in landfill, which is really harmful for the environment. Take a look at the love your tent film and remember to #justtakeithome

If you really, really don’t want your tent, please pack it up and hand it into the Recycling Points in the campsites. Donated gear will make its way to charitable and community organisations.


For 2018 festival-goers will no longer be able to bring their own firewood into the campsites.

There are no campfires or BBQs permitted after 20:00 on Sunday. No firewood will be on sale from 18:00 on Sunday.

This does not mean we are banning campfires as we know how much you love them! You will still be able to purchase firewood from our onsite sellers and enjoy your campfires as usual.

This change is one we are pleased to make from a sustainability perspective. A lot of wood comes treated with a high water content and this causes a lot of smoke pollution. The wood we sell on site is dried and has a ultra low water content which makes it much more sustainable than some of the wood that has previously been burnt.

Leftover Food

If you have any unwanted non-perishable food left over then please leave it at the Recycling Point.


We put together a salvage operation after the festival for organisations to collect some of the perfectly reusable camping equipment that is left behind therefore reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill or incineration.

This is an opportunity for charities and community groups to come to the festival site on the Monday and Tuesday after the show and help save what they can.

Applications will open later this year.