Inspired recycling scheme wows youngsters at Carfest North!

Last weekend saw the convergence of motor-sport, music and lots of family fun at Carfest North at the beautiful Bolesworth Estate in Cheshire.

I think most people will have heard of Carfest – three days of festival fun initiated by BBC Radio 2’s Chris Evans, with all profit going to BBC Children in Need. Over the past five years, Carfest events have raised more than £7 million for Children in Need.

While the weather was less than kind with downpours of much needed rain (ideal for the countryside but less so for revellers at the festival), it was a fantastic event.

This was the first year my family and I have managed to get tickets, and we were not disappointed.

After all the thrills of the amazing cars on the track and great rides in Carters Steam Fair, we settled in to watch some fabulous bands on the main stage. As we attended Carfest on Sunday, we were treated to the likes of Billy Ocean, Texas, The Feeling, Ricky Wilson, Sophie Ellis Bextor and Madness.

While bopping away with 30,000 other festival goers – I started to notice something rather interesting going on – children kept filing past us with stacks of plastic cups – some almost as high as the kids carrying them! My 9-year-old wanted to find out what was going on – so we followed them to a cup return area at one of the main bars near the Main Stage. It transpired that a cup return scheme was well underway and the kids were being paid for returning the cups! £1 per stack of 10 cups.

Bingo!

This scheme had completely engaged hundreds of children, including mine. There was a slightly competitive edge as each child was trying to reach the empty cups first – sometimes loitering around those with cups in hand, waiting for them to drain the last drop before pouncing on their prey.

In the end, my son walked away with £7 in his pocket and was absolutely thrilled with his spoils.

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I spoke with Claire of Gaskells Waste, the company behind the ingenious scheme:

Gaskells are proud to have supported BBC Children in Need at Carfest North, for the third year running, at Bolesworth Castle in Cheshire.

Not only did Gaskells have the cup return scheme on the go, but they also ran a fun and educational quiz for children at Carfest North – with the chance to win a Family VIP Camping Pass for 2019.

Claire continued

It was an educational quiz, which we think will not only help children understand more about the impact of different waste streams on the environment, but also their parents.

We’ve had dozens of the quizzes handed back to us, along with phone calls and emails from people saying how much fun they found the quiz, and how much they learned.

This is the first year Gaskells have done anything like this, and we’re incredibly proud of the feedback and reaction we’ve had.

We feel this, along with our work with the plastic cups has really spread some very important messages in a fun and engaging way.

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While the final figures of the numbers of cups returned during Car Fest North is yet to be determined, the image below (collections from the first day of the festival) certainly gives some idea to the vast quantities collected!

Let us know in the comments below if you were at Carfest North collecting cups!


Join in the discussion

  1. Laura Glanced

    I agree this was an excellent scheme – I made sure I gave my empties to a random passing child!

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