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Attenborough Tells Glastonbury Crowd That Plastic Ban Will Have an Impact

Jun 30, 2019

The naturalist David Attenborough, 93, appeared onstage at the Glastonbury festival in England on Sunday to praise its ban on single-use plastic bottles, delighting festivalgoers who have instead lined up for tap water.

Attenborough’s “Blue Planet II” documentary, which has been shown in countries around the world, highlighted the dangers of plastic pollution to marine life, and he said the move at one of the world’s largest festivals would have an impact.

“That is more than 1 million bottles of water that have not been drunk by you in plastic,” Attenborough said to cheers and applause. “Thank you, thank you.”

Growing calls for action by the public in part prompted around 180 countries to agree last month to sharply reduce the amount of plastic that gets washed into the world’s oceans, the United Nations said.

Glastonbury has banned the sale of water, soft drinks and alcohol in plastic bottles this year. In 2017, the last time the event was held, more than 1 million single-use plastic bottles were sold at the site.

Festivalgoers were encouraged to bring their own bottles or buy steel flasks that could be filled with water at taps and kiosks around the site.

Some long lines built up at water refill sites amid soaring temperatures on Friday and Saturday, but there were few complaints among the about 200,000 attendees.

“We’ve never once not been able to fill up, and it’s lovely ice-cold water, so what else would you want?” said Amanda Hawkins of Bristol. “So — no problem at all.”

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