40 musicians back Plastic Free July!

Bernard Fanning • Killing Heidi • Midnight Oil • Phia and Georgia Fields • The String Contingent • Clea • Tijuana Cartel • Mighty Duke and the Lords • Dallas Crane • Sex on Toast • Jordie Lane • Declan Kelly • Eastmint Records roster – Hello Satellites, Cold Hands Warm Heart, On Diamond • Saskwatch • Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards • Australian Art Orchestra • Ginger and the Ghost • Montaigne • Totally Unicorn • Boo Seeka • Vika and Linda Bull • GL • All Our Exes Live In Texas • Riff Raff Radical Marching Band • Clio Renner • Darling James • Combat Wombat • Mal Webb • Rhiannon Atkinson-Howatt  • Emma Dean • Abby Dobson • Wax’o Paradiso • Phebe Star • Dorsal Fins • Richard Tognetti • Ecca Vandal • Ainslie Wills • Alex Watt

At first glance, the long list of musicians looks like an awesome festival lineup, but this eclectic bunch of artists are coming together for something entirely different – to protect our planet from plastic pollution.

Announced last month as part of Plastic Free July, 40 musicians and bands from Midnight Oil to Killing Heidi, Bernard Fanning to Ainslie Wills joined Green Music Australia’s campaign to rid the music scene of disposable plastic.

Artists are committing to ditching single use plastic water bottles, telling venues and festivals they perform at that they don’t want disposable bottles, asking for jugs or water stations to refill their own bottles instead, and spreading the word.

“Initially, we set out to recruit 31 new artists, or one a day for the whole month of July” said Berish Bilander, Green Music’s zero waste campaigner.

“We thought that was a pretty ambitious target, but the interest was so great that we ended up recruiting 40 bands and artists, effectively doubling the number of musicians involved in our campaign.”

Green Music’s 40 new ambassadors join an original line up including Paul Kelly, Missy Higgins, Ash Grunwald, Katie Noonan, Ben Lee, Mia Dyson, Regurgitator, Ball Park Music, Tinpan Orange, Vince Jones and many more.

All Our Exes Live In Texas, an up and coming band from Sydney, was one of the first to take up the Plastic Free July challenge by introducing a no plastics policy in their greenroom. They said, “We take our bottles on stage. No more wasting so many plastic water bottles that end up in landfill! Especially when it’s so easy for us to change.”

Famed 90s group Killing Heidi managed to cut bottled water out of their reunion tour with less than 2 weeks notice. Lead singer, Ella Hooper, who spearheaded the move, said the band were “stoked to make a move towards more sustainable touring. I encourage all my mates in bands to follow suit and check out Green Music to find out how. Getting rid of single use is the way of the future and we’re so happy to be involved.”

One of the key philosophies behind Green Music Australia’s #BYObottle campaign is the idea to stop waste before it even comes into existence, bypassing the need to reuse or recycle it, and tackling throw-away culture head on.

“The mantra refuse, reuse, recycle is a great one that’s been around a long time, but what I think we often forget is that there’s an inbuilt hierarchy there. Refusal comes first” said Mr Bilander. “That’s why instead of opting for stronger recycling initiatives, #BYObottle seeks to stop unnecessary virgin plastic from being consumed in the first place.”

“Given the recent revelations on the ABC’s Four Corners around illegal dumping of recyclables, stopping waste at its source, aka using less, is clearly one of the only ways we can reliably reduce our ecological footprint” he said.

With scientists predicting there’ll be more plastic in our oceans than fish by 2050, and a recent survey on one of the world’s most remote islands finding 38 million pieces of plastic* – an island with NO inhabitants – there’s a growing consensus that we must change course. As Midnight Oil puts it, we have to “stop bingeing on plastic – it’s strangling our natural world.”

Fortunately, more and more musicians recognise this fact, and see #BYObottle as a chance to do something positive—not only by cutting their own plastic consumption, but by engaging the industry they spend their lives in to do the same.

Green Music Australia’s Executive Director, Tim Hollo, said “It’s so inspiring to see how Australian musicians have responded to this call to protect our precious environment from plastic waste. With this fantastic cultural leadership, together we can make a real change, showing that throw-away culture is not cool. And who better to lead the way to a greener world than musicians, singing the songs that tell us another way is possible?”

TAKE ACTION: Green Music Australia is calling for more artists to join #BYOBottle. Email info@greenmusic.org.au to find out more.

* https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/15/38-million-pieces-of-plastic-waste-found-on-uninhabited-south-pacific-island


Ella Hooper / Killing Heidi Midnight Oil The String Contingent