Guest Blog: How can you help create a #SustainableFringe?

24th July 2018

Alice Boyd, Sustainability Manager at Poltergeist Theatre, talks about how they're challenging performers, punters and planners of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to create a Sustainable Fringe - and how you can get involved!

The story behind the campaign

#SustainableFringe, a new campaign led by Poltergeist Theatre [#SustainableFringe is something Creative Carbon Scotland & the Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts have been doing in different forms for a few years – Ed.], is encouraging fellow production companies, audiences and theatre makers to get involved in environmentally sustainable action at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Graduating from university this summer and heading to the Fringe with our play Lights Over Tesco Car Park, Poltergeist Theatre felt that, as a company, we could do more to reduce our footprint as visitors in Edinburgh.

The campaign is focusing on three areas of visible waste at the Fringe: plastic, paper and material. By setting a challenge for each area, #SustainableFringe aims to encourage fellow companies to engage with the efforts, infrastructure and events already in place to reduce environmental impact at the Fringe, while assuring them that they are not alone in the battle against plastic cups, forgotten flyers and bursting suitcases of costumes and set.

Pledging to the challenges

As of mid-July 2018, over 50 companies and individuals on Twitter had pledged to the first challenge, to assemble a ‘#SustainableFringe kit’ of reusable items to replace single-use plastics.
We’ve suggested reusable coffee cups for the early mornings; lunch boxes, travel cutlery and reusable water bottles for packed lunches and take-aways; and stainless-steel pint glasses for the late nights.

The second challenge, to be launched at the start of the festival, will share information from The City of Edinburgh Council on how to recycle effectively in Edinburgh accommodation, and advice about flyer distribution and disposal.

Finally, the third challenge will encourage fellow performers to take a picture at the Fringe Society’s Swap Shop, supported by Creative Carbon Scotland, or to take set, costumes and props home for reuse in the next show.

Get involved

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @SustFringe, or join the Facebook community ‘#Sustainable Fringe’, for more information on how you can complete the three challenges and join the campaign!


Further information about Sustainability and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe:

Find out about more Green Picks and Opportunities at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Attend the Sustainability at the Fringe Reception


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This story was posted by University of Edinburgh. Creative Carbon Scotland is committed to being a resource for the arts & sustainability community and we invite you to submit news, blogs, opportunities and your upcoming events.

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We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.


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Supported by

Edinburgh Festival City Edinburgh Festival City

A project initiated by Edinburgh’s Festivals with key partners the Federation of Scottish Theatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network

Edinburgh Festival City Federation of Scottish Theatre Scottish Contemporary Art Network