Paul Kelly, Ash Grunwald & More Join Fight Against Disposable Bottles

8 March 2016 | 2:41 pm | Staff Writer

The #BYOBottle campaign aims to phase out single-use disposable plastic bottles from the Australian live music landscape

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The Australian music industry is taking a stand against the prevalence and proliferation of single-use disposable plastic water bottles, with high-profile musicians such as Paul Kelly and Ash Grunwald joining Green Music Australia's fledgling #BYOBottle campaign.

Along with Kelly and Grunwald, #BYOBottle is supported by Missy HigginsKatie Noonan and the Illawarra and National Folk festivals, all of whom have committed to Green Music Australia's vision of a "green drinks rider", which will see compliant festivals and venues forgoing disposable plastic bottles — which contribute more than 60,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere each year in their production — in favour of jugs or coolers (presumably not accompanied with disposable plastic cups though). Additionally, David BridieHolly Throsby and FourPlay are listed as artist ambassadors for the movement.

The festivals supporting the movement have already started making the change, with Illawarra Folk Festival following in Caloundra Music Festival's footsteps and providing refilling stations across the grounds, as well as requiring its stall-holders to not sell disposable bottles, with reusable containers being offered to artists. In the footsteps of that success, the National Folk Festival is set to follow suit.

"Imagine a music scene where artists, crew and audience stay healthily hydrated while keeping venues and festival sites — and the planet — clean," Green Music Australia executive director Tim Hollo said in a statement. "It's not that hard to imagine for many of us, actually, because throw-away bottles never used to exist!

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"Throw-away bottles kill wildlife, contribute to global warming and leach toxins into our air and water. And they're totally unnecessary. Let's junk them and move on."

In lending his support to the initiative, Kelly noted he'd been a staunch BYO-bottler for years — "I don't like buying plastic over and over again," he said — while Higgins' concern is an openly environmental one. "Plastic bottles hurt and kill animals," she said. "#BYOBottle and protect our environment."

Grunwald, too, is vocal about the environmental boons to phasing out disposable bottles, and does more than just say the right words — in fact, he's already released his own reusable water bottle as part of his merchandise line.

"I'm doing my bit to end the scourge of single-use plastic bottles that are choking our oceans and land," he said in his statement of support. "#BYOBottle and keep it clean!"

Excitingly, the campaign has been offered $25,000 to assist with bringing on staff and producing materials, provided that it is able to raise $25,000 of its own. They've so far raised a shade over $2100, or about 8.5 per cent, of their goal — head this way to donate.

To find out more about the #BYOBottle movement, see its page at Green Music Australia's website.