Butte’s folk festival plans to reduce plastic bottle waste with water filling stations

Posted at 3:55 PM, May 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-21 18:09:51-04

BUTTE – Organizers of this summer’s Montana Folk Festival in Butte want more music and less discarded plastic water bottles.

“Probably the kicker was stories of whales with stomachs full of plastic in the ocean and we don’t want to contribute to that anymore so we’re trying to reduce the footprint of plastic on the site,” said festival organizer George Everett.

The city had five water filling stations constructed that will be placed around the festival area this July to encourage people to fill up their own containers for free and not use bottled water during the three-day event.

“It’s very low cost and thought through with help from Butte High School; they built the frame and our technical director Bernie Shelton kind of put his mind to it and made it work,” said Everett.

Melissa Englund of Energy Corps added, “We’re trying to encourage people to take back the tap of clean drinking water and it’s so much cheaper and environmentally sound than water bottles.”

Now, Butte has the unwarranted reputation of having dirty water. That’s why the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is going to have actual clean water representatives on-site at the Folk Festival so they can educate people about how clean Butte’s water actually is.

“And we’re recruiting clean water ambassadors helping talk to people visiting Butte to tell them how great our water is and how they can have a smaller footprint while they’re enjoying the festival and just all about the stewardship and sustainability efforts happening this year,” said NCAT Executive Director Steve Thompson.

The Montana Folk Festival runs July 12 – 14.

Reporting by John Emeigh for MTN News