Posted: Tue 21st Jun 2022

‘Don’t pee on the ground!’: Bangor Uni makes unusual plea to festival-goers ahead of Glastonbury weekend

North Wales news and information

Ecologists at Bangor University are highlighting one simple thing that festival-goers can do for the environment this summer: use the loo.

Ahead of this weekend’s Glastonbury Festival, a lecturer has said there are several ways to be environmentally friendly whilst enjoying a music festival.

It could be through lift-sharing or using public transport, reducing single-use plastic and taking camping gear and litter home.

However, there’s another simple thing you can do, 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.

Research by the north Wales 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.

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.

“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!”

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