The Zoo’s Pixie Weyand and 123 Agency are leading the charge of a nation-wide campaign to stamp out the use of plastic bottles backstage at venues.

Weyand, a booking agent at Melbourne-based 123 Agency and the owner of the Brisbane venue The Zoo, told TIO that in 2017 the venue used around 7,000 plastic bottles.

“The greenroom would literally be covered in plastic bottles,” she said. “At the end of every night we were throwing out so many that hardly had been touched or finished it was really sad and frustrating to see so much unnecessary waste.”

Using The Zoo as a standard example of plastic bottle usage for 500-capacity venues in Australia, the country’s music industry is responsible for over one million bottles of plastic annually.

To put that into perspective, one million water bottles are bought worldwide every minute and by 2021 we will have consumed over 580 billion water bottles worldwide, with only a fraction of those being recycled. Shockingly, plastic is listed as the #1 threat to our marine eco system. 

Leading by example, 123 Agency, which includes acts such as Tash Sultana and Ocean Alley on its roster, has stamped out the use of plastic bottles on their artist riders. The Zoo has removed single use plastics from backstage at the venue & instead has installed a water system into the live music venue and provided refillable Earth Bottles to the artists it hosts.

Watch Pixie Weyand explain the national campaign below:

It’s not complicated, and it’s utterly achievable. 123 Agency is now calling artists and their teams, be it agencies, labels and management to request plastic bottles be removed from riders and a refillable water station and reusable bottles to be made available.

“Enough is enough,” said Weyand. “it’s such an easy answer to make a little bit of difference – no more plastic bottles on riders.

“Its also all about offering a solution or alternative” she added. “We have a refill station in the band room and supply a bunch of reusable bottles for the bands to have for the night and use as stage waters. 

“It’s essentially the same but without the waste – not only are we hoping to have a positive environmental impact, we as a venue save money because we aren’t buying cartons and cartons of water a week – it’s pretty much a win-win.”

“Having 123 Agency wholeheartedly support this movement and pioneer the removal of plastic bottles from all of their artist riders is a huge step in the right direction,” said Weyand. 

“They have some of the biggest artists in the country committing to this. I would love to see other agencies do the same,” she added. “Splendour In The Grass, Blues and Roots, and even Glastonbury [in the UK] are beginning to take the ‘plastic free’ direction. The music industry is such an influential and powerful voice which can make some pretty big positive impacts when we all come together with a single purpose.”

The campaign follows other local plastic-free initiatives from the likes of Green Music Australia, Earth Bottles, and festivals like Yours and Owls and Island Vibe.

In a global music industry that is fast becoming more ecologically aware, healthier, and more in tune with economical solutions, Australia has an opportunity to take ownership of its contribution of  waste for landfill and truly make a difference on a global scale.

“Plastic has been an issue for a long time in the music industry,” said Weyand. “If we can tackle the issue from within we may be able to curb this plastic bottle habit completely.”

FIVE FAST FACTS ABOUT PLASTIC BOTTLES

  • Only 7% of the new water bottles are made from recycled material and an estimated 24 million tonnes of plastic will end up in the worlds water ways each year. 
  • 90% of the cost of bottled water is due to the packaging not the quality of the water. 
  • 3 Litres of water is used to package one bottle os H20.
  • 1500 water bottles are thrown in to the ocean or end up in landfill EVERY SECOND!
  • Even BPA free water bottles can leach harmful chemicals that can cause cancer and are bad for your health.