Big news on the no-single-use cup and dishware system at Pickathon
Monday July 30, 2012

Over the past two years Pickathon has initiated all sorts of innovative measures with the big picture goal of eliminating 100% of the single use waste created onsite.

In 2011, with the help of Bambooware, and GOBox, Pickathon became the first large American outdoor music festival to eliminate all single use dishware and utensils. With the help of Klean Kanteen in 2009 Pickathon became the first music festival to eliminate all single use cups and water bottles. These initiatives have helped us reduce the volume of garbage going from Pendarvis Farm to the landfill by close to 50% since 2009.

None of this could be done without the enthusiastic support and cooperation by the amazing Pickathon community. It has been a grand experiment, an effective one, but an experiment nonetheless and there are still some key tweaks that we need to make.

So what do these tweaks mean to you?

Tweaks in the dishware system.
Although our dishware system is almost identical to last year there are a couple changes that were needed to ensure our no single use system remains sustainable.

Dish choice #1: Similar to last year, you’ll purchase a unique token for $10 and bring it to any vendor in exchange for a plate and utensils with each order. The change for 2012 will be that we are not redeeming the tokens or dishware for cash at the end of this year’s fest. When you’re done eating that delicious Portland cuisine, you’ll bring your dirty dishes to one of the Dish Return Stations and get another token for use with your next meal. At the end of the weekend, you’ll redeem this token at the Dish Booth and take your new Pickathon dishware and utensils with you. So far no change here, very similar to last year’s GoBox system. We cannot repeat the option to cash in the tokens for a $5 refund since we are not able to reuse the inventory of dishes from previous years. We will be using unique, year-specific wooden tokens this year which will not be redeemable after the festival.

Dish choice #2: You can opt-out of the whole token/dishware system and manage your own reusable dishware and utensils all weekend at no cost. This means you need to bring your own clean dishware to a food vendor, and then wash your own dishware and utensils yourself at our DIY Dishwashing Station, then store it at your campsite and repeat all weekend long.

Tweaks in the cup system.
We’re trying to get rid of the pesky compostable cups, lids, and straws in the vending areas which have become the single largest source of waste by volume at the festival, particularly around the non-alcoholic drinks.

Cups Choice #1: You can bring, use, and wash your own cups, for no cost, for use with our food vendors for any non-alcoholic drinks. We have to limit this choice to non-alcoholic drinks only: coffee, smoothies, lemonade, anything in the food vendor area basically. The beer garden will only pour into Pickathon Klean Kanteen cups. These can be from 2010, 2011 or 2012, but they gotta be those Pickathon Klean Kanteen cups. Please understand that the beer garden is simply a lot more complex of a matter to monitor without the uniform cups, and puts the whole weekend at risk.

Cups Choice #2: You can purchase one of our collectible Klean Kanteen 2012 Pickathon Pint Cups from the Pickathon Dish Booth or in any of the beer gardens for $6 and you can use it all weekend in the beer gardens and at the vendors, then bring it home at the end of the weekend.

Here’s a graphic on spelling out how all the changes work.

We really do appreciate the willingness of our community to embrace our 100% single use elimination goal, and eventually we’re sure we’ll get there.

Thanks all, and we’ll see you in a few days.

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