Pickathon Partners with Klean Kanteen to Go 100% Plastic-Free

Pickathon sponsored by Klean KanteenThree-day indie roots music festival in Portland, OR teams up with Klean Kanteen to become the first multi-day music event to eliminate all plastic drink containers

CHICO, Calif. (July 21, 2010) - Many say it is impossible to hold a large, multi-day music festival without using plastic cups and without selling bottled water. The organizers of Pickathon 2010 and Klean Kanteen®, maker of the first BPA-free metal bottle designed for personal hydration, are determined to prove the naysayers wrong. Pickathon is a three-day music festival held every summer at Pendarvis Farm, an 80-acre property outside of Portland, OR. Now in its 12th year, Pickathon is going plastic cup and plastic bottle free.

"Most events produce incredible amounts of unnecessary plastic pollution," said Danielle Cresswell, Sustainability Officer of Klean Kanteen. "Most of it ends up in a landfill, and sadly, too much plastic finds its way into waterways, the ocean, and the food chain of many animal species, including humans. Even when recycled, plastic downgrades significantly in the process, resulting in an inferior material that is still ultimately destined to be pollution. We’re proud to work with Pickathon toward a common vision to create the model for truly sustainable, plastic-free music festivals."

Jake Holfield, head of recycling for Pickathon, estimates that in 2009, festival-goers used about 35,000 plastic cups and about 25,000 plastic bottles.

Through its sponsorship, Klean Kanteen is subsidizing the sale of its stainless steel bottles, which will be discounted and available for purchase at multiple sites throughout the festival grounds. Special, limited-edition bottles with the Pickathon logo will also be available.

"We view this as a pilot project," said Jeff Cresswell, Co-Owner of Klean Kanteen. "The goal is to test and prove that all it takes to eliminate the truckloads of plastic pollution at these events is a true commitment to the environment, some thoughtful planning and a solid partnership."

In the beer garden, attendees will pay $9 for their first beer, and will receive a Klean Kanteen Festival Cup, a special-edition 16oz stainless steel pint glass that they can refill for $4. The Festival Cups, along with the popular 16oz Klean Kanteen Wide Insulated bottles, will replace the corn-based plastic cups used in the past. Klean Kanteen has also created a specially designed silicone collar that slips over the Festival Cup with an attachment loop that makes it easy to clip onto a pack, bag or belt.

Before making the final decision to go plastic free, Pickathon founder Zale Schoenborn polled the Pickathon community via blog to see if they would be open to bringing their own bottles, or buying reusable options onsite. The incredibly positive response from the online community convinced Schoenborn that this was the right move for the festival.

The decision to go plastic-free is however, not a small one. Massive infrastructure changes are necessary to ensure that festival goers, musicians and staff still have easy access to water and drinking containers as well as continuing the Pickathon dedication to sustainability and environmental responsibility.

Sustainability Efforts at Pickathon include:

  • A 24 hour recycling team to collect and sort recyclable and compostable materials, as well as collecting and filtering all the gray water from showers, water and wash stations to be reused around the venue for dust control.
  • Two solar arrays, installed by Pickathon’s green energy partner, REC Solar, to offset energy used at two of the large stages at the event.
  • Two large, mobile water trucks and multiple refill stations throughout the property. Beer drinkers will also be able to personalize their Festival Cups with Sharpies and leave them in the beer garden on drying racks.
  • The medical tent, front gate check-in, and ticketing areas will continue to be solar powered, as they have been in the past, and the two miles of wooded festival trails and camping areas will also be marked with LED lighting. 
  • Since 2008 Pickathon has partnered with the local transportation company, EcoShuttle, to provide free transportation from the nearest public hub out to Pendarvis Farm.
  • Pickathon encourages cycling to the event, even providing route maps and descriptions, and also helps link people up with carpooling resources. 
  • Collaboration with a number of local hotels for out of town attendees, offering free shuttle service out to the farm. The goal is to increase alternative transportation use from 15% of attendees in 2009, to 50% within the next five years.

About Pickathon

Pickathon is a 12-year-old, eclectic three-day music festival set in the rolling hills and forests of an 80-acre farm outside Portland, OR. The event features a diverse line-up of bands and musicians whose music draws on the roots of classic American music including blues, folk, bluegrass and a multitude of other both traditional and modern indie styles.  The event draws audience members from across the world and caters to individuals as well as families with multiple workshops, events, and local, mostly organic food, and locally brewed beer from Widmer Brothers Brewing Co.

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