We believe passionately in protecting the beautiful environment around us and in preserving our planet for future generations. Sustainable practice is therefore at the heart of our planning and programming process at the festival. Whilst we recognise that there is always progress to be made, we strive to ensure that our impact on the planet is as low as possible. We do this by seeking to work with green suppliers, providing green waste and energy solutions on site and by keeping our vehicle use to a minimum. Here's all the things that you as a festivalgoer can do to support us in this goal:



For 2019 we are aiming to significantly reduce plastic use at the festival, with an aim to eliminate it altogether by 2021. As a result we will provide fresh drinking water at various sites through the festival where you can re-fill for free. All our drinks vendors will accept re-useable coffee cups at their stalls.


Please see our visitor information page for more details about the festival location and how to get there from across the city. We don't provide parking space at our festival other than for blue badge holders, as the site is very accessible via a range of public transport options, including three bus routes and the subway. Our lovely sponsors, Sustrans, have kindly provided ample cycle parking throughout the site and we will have a number of guided cycle routes throughout the day.


All our festival food vendors are required to use recyclable packaging. We'll endeavour to make very clear what you can and can't recycle, and to provide a number of bins on-site for your use. Please make use of these, keep our canals clear, and use the right bins for your waste.


The world and especially its oceans are being filled with plastics in every shape and form. It is thought that 38.5m plastic bottles are used in the UK every day, and that 91% of that plastic is not recyclable. Annual consumption of plastic bottles is set to top half a trillion by 2021. The Ellen MacArthur foundation estimates that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. Marine conservation and campaigning group Surfers Against Sewage has said the plastic pollution crisis rivals the threat of climate change.

Recycling does help with saving manufacturing resources but it still leaves us with a piece of plastic! Plastics are rapidly filling the landfill sites that still remain available. Every plastic item that ends up in the water around the world risks marine life in so many ways and there is now plenty of proof to suggest that it is finding its way into our food chain with potentially very serious consequences.

Glasgow Canal Festival are trying to play our part in tackling the growing environmental crisis caused by unwanted plastics. This year with your help, the Festival will be reducing use of single use plastics and moving towards 100% use of compostable cutlery, cups, plates and packaging. This will allow us to dispose of the inevitable food waste together with what we eat it with and from, in a greener way. We have created a new plastics policy to help us achieve our aim of becoming plastic free in the coming years. These may be small steps initially but we need everyone’s help to achieve a positive change.

We will also be encouraging all visitors to support these efforts by:

  • separating your rubbish and recycling where possible

  • investing in a stainless steel drinks bottle and using our FREE water refill stations

  • packing plenty of reusable ‘bags for life’ to take home all your shopping

Please help us to achieve a positive change in the fight against plastic. Please note, we always welcome feedback on what we are doing and how it affects you, as well as new ideas