The team behind Burnham-On-Sea’s food festivals have put in place enhanced sustainability criteria this year.

Both the ‘eat:Burnham’ festivals have banned all single use plastics including bottled water, plastic serveware and non-compostable packaging for all “eat now” food and drinks.

All produce designed to be taken home will clearly show how the packaging can be recycled or reused. The team have worked with a sustainability auditor to ensure that the goals are being met.

All serve ware will be biodegradable and there will be incentives for cyclists to ride into the festivals, in May and October.

Festival organsier Sarah Milner Simonds said: “Eat:Festivals has an environmental impact; requiring transport, energy, water, materials, and producing waste and generating emissions. They have a lasting social impact on the local communities.”

“We have an opportunity, through our festivals, to inspire visitors through a raised awareness of environmental and sustainability matters; sharing our management decisions on reducing our environmental impact in partnership with our crew, our sponsors, local authorities, suppliers and traders is one way.”

“We have worked hard with our producers and waste partners to come up with a solution for waste management that allows our producers and visitors to minimise their impact on the environment. Alongside our other 24 sustainability goals we hope make a positive difference through our festivals.”

“We promote local food and drink producers in order to avoid food miles, reduce waste, strengthen communities, support the local economy, help small and rural enterprises develop, preserve the productive nature of the land around us.”

“Choosing food that is not packaged and transported across the world means that we are not transferring the cost of our consumption, the water and carbon footprints, to distant countries or unnecessarily adding to our own. By influencing the way we all feed ourselves, we can influence the impact we have on the world, so that’s what we hope to do through our festivals. Also, Good Stuff happens after a great meal.”

Co-organsier Bev Milner Simonds added: “The sustainability of our festivals isn’t just about the single-use plastics and boxes that food is served in – we have undertaken a root and branch review of our events and published a stretching plan for 2018 to ensure we make an even more positive difference with our festivals.”

Tatiana Cant, Town Council Clerk at Burnham and Highbridge Town Council, added: “Burnham & Highbridge Town Council is extremely encouraged by the Eat: Festivals team’s responsible approach to packaging materials used at their events as well as other environmental factors they have taken into consideration.”

“They have created ambitious but realistic sustainability goals which also reflect the aims of the Town Council which has signed up to support the national Plastic Free Coastline campaign. This is a great example to set to other local businesses as we all work together towards a cleaner and healthier town and coastline.”

Eat:Burnham returns to the town centre on Saturday 26th May.

The festivals have been shortlisted for “Best Market” at the Western Daily Press Food & Farming Awards. These awards cover the whole of the west country from the Isles of Scilly to Gloucestershire and will be announced on Monday 21st May.