Fields covered in rubbish before Glastonbury Festival clean-up begins

Disturbing photographs of rubbish abandoned at Glastonbury’s site have emerged after its end (Picture: PA)

Glastonbury Festival is over for another year, with the mammoth clean-up operation now underway as shattered revellers make their way to the exits.

For the last five days, Worthy Farm in Somerset has been home to more than 200,000 people who travelled from all corners of the world to see Paul McCartney, Billie Eilish, Sam Fender, Olivia Rodrigo, Diana Ross and other musicians.

Hours after the closing headline set by Kendrick Lamar, photos show the clean-up crew sweeping after festival-goers.

Mile after mile, a sea of plastic bags, empty cans and bottles, dirty food packaging and wet wipes were pictured left behind.

This has sadly become the norm over the years despite pleas from climate change activists.

According to eco experts, Glastonbury produces around 2,000 tonnes of waste each year – or at least, that is how much rubbish is abandoned either in bins or on the ground.

Staff’s hard work means this adds up to 224 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year.

Waste left by festival goers at Worthy Farm in Somerset

Waste left by festival goers at Worthy Farm in Somerset (Picture: PA)
Litter pickers make their way through the seemingly endless sea of plastic (Picture: PA)
Glastonbury’s bins were all overflowing by the end of the five-day festival (Picture: PA)
Plastic bottles, bags and other rubbish seen covering the ground (Picture: PA)
Clean-up work began this morning (Picture: PA)

This is a large amount, but it would be 174.5 tonnes higher without the festival’s green policies, according to estimates from the last festival.

In 2019, organisers introduced a plastic-free system, meaning no single-use plastic can now be purchased on site.

According to Glastonbury’s website, 68 tonnes of paper and card, 38 tonnes of glass, 57 tonnes of cans, 17 tonnes of plastic bottles were recycled that year and 14,000 litres of cooking oil were turned into biofuel.

Some 149 tonnes of food waste were also turned into compost.

It is still early to estimate how much rubbish revellers have left behind and how much of it would be eligible for recycling.

Shattered festival-goers queue to leave the grounds after a weekend of festivities (Picture: PA)
Glastonbury produces around 2,000 tonnes of waste each year (Picture: PA)
Workers load waste bags on an already full truck (Picture: PA)
There were still hundreds of tents on the site this morning (Picture: PA)

Glastonbury has already faced some criticism on social media for the mess, which was fuelled by Greta Thunberg’s surprise appearance.

The 19-year-old environmental activist warned that the world faces ‘total natural catastrophe’ unless people take urgent action.

‘We are in the beginning of a climate and ecological emergency,’ the Swedish campaigner told the cheering crowd.

‘This is not the new normal, this crisis will continue to get worse… until we prioritise people and planet over profits and greed.’

After disturbing photographs of the piles of trash emerged over the weekend, some people took to Twitter to ask if she was planning to ‘stay and help with the clean up’.

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