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Changing littering practices at Glastonbury Festival

Spotswood, Fiona; Whitaker, Briony


Fiona Spotswood

Briony Whitaker
Senior Lecturer in Events Management



This conceptual paper introduces practice theory as a potential alternative to the traditional ways that littering is conceptualised and tackled, and considers the strengths and pitfalls of the theoretical approach for the expensive, pervasive and environmentally dangerous littering problems faced by Glastonbury Festival.

The study of littering has yet to embrace practice theory, despite the theory being considered the cutting edge of sustainable consumption research. This paper is an exploratory starting point, opening up a potential future research and intervention agenda for festival organisers and
researchers alike to consider littering as a by-product of a range of different bundled practices rather than the result of particularly attitudes and behaviours.

Practice theory has yet to move authoritatively out of a theoretical domain and be used in the process of intervention planning and implementation, although some early efforts are beginning to emerge. As such, the applicability of the theory to a real world setting is untested. Relatedly, it is not fully clear how evaluation can capture the full extent of a multi-disciplinary culture change programme inspired by practice theory.

The paper offers the first practice theoretical examination of littering and introduces the theory to the practical challenges faced by Glastonbury and other festival organisers as well as introducing the problem of littering to the practice theory field, already central to the study of other issues in sustainable consumption.


Spotswood, F., & Whitaker, B. (2017). Changing littering practices at Glastonbury Festival. Social Business, 7(3-4), 263-278.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 6, 2017
Online Publication Date Sep 1, 2017
Publication Date Apr 1, 2017
Deposit Date Apr 27, 2017
Publicly Available Date Oct 2, 2018
Journal Social Business
Print ISSN 2044-4087
Publisher Westburn Publishers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 3-4
Pages 263-278
Keywords littering practices, Glastonbury Festival
Public URL
Publisher URL


Glasto paper_final_complete.pdf (385 Kb)


Copyright Statement
Author Posting © Westburn Publishers Ltd, 2017. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copy-edit version of an article which has been published in its definitive form in Social Business, and has been posted by permission of Westburn Publishers Ltd for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in Social Business, 7(3-4), 263-278.

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