At the largest event in the Netherlands, we like to lead by example. Our focus goes out to preventing unnecessary waste and to repurpose as much material as possible. However, we also make sure to invest in innovative and sustainable solutions, like the practice of recycling. Together, we want to celebrate a clean and sustainable event. Will you help us?
Below you can read what happens behind the scenes to make the Vierdaagsefeesten more sustainable and what you can do to help. It also showcases the national coalition efforts regarding sustainability, in which Stichting Vierdaagsefeesten is involved.
Working towards a circular and clean event: cup in the trash bag!
Dar will be responsible for collecting all the trash during the Vierdaagsefeesten, and we are very grateful for that! But did you know, that trash does not necessarily have to be trash? Together with Dar, we want to make sure that by 2025, the Vierdaagsefeesten are circularly clean, by re-using all the waste and trash generated during the event. Like at home, we ideally want to separate all trash. Unfortunately, that is not yet fully possible, but every year we try to take a step in the right direction. And we could use your help! How?
Do not drop your cup, but put it in the trash bag or return in to the bar
Trashed plastic bottles and cups are hard to recycle. When plastic gets dirty — even if it is just a few grains of sand — it is hard to re-use. Therefore we have set up the double number of trash points, to make it easier for you to hand in plastic and other forms of trash.
Make sure that at plastic cup collection points, you only hand in cups
At some locations (Otis park, Ramblas, Festival op ‘t Eiland en Faberplein) we would like your help in making sure that trash and plastic cups are separated and stay separated. The plastic cups are directly recycled after collection, but this is only possible when the cups are not mixed with other trash. The other trash is processed in a factory that separates trash, after which designated products can be recycled. If you too could keep an eye out — especially when it is getting late — that would help us out a lot!
Buy your drinks at the bar
Of course you were already doing this, since our drink revenue is what allows us to organize the Vierdaagsefeesten in the first place. To provide you with some extra motivation, however, we work together with catering services in only using cups that are recyclable, as they are made of plastic that is easily re-shaped in new cups. In this way, you might even drink from the same cup next year.
As usual, a spectacular firework show will be held at the Waal during Waal in Vlammen (Waal on Fire). But fireworks and sustainability, how does that work?
Working with Spanish supplier Europla and the Dutch organization Dream Firework, we have made sure our display of fireworks this year is as environmentally-friendly as possible. The fireworks come from Spain, and contain a limited amount of heavy metals. Most of the colours we are currently using are better for the environment. Moreover, CO2 emissions of these fireworks are completely compensated through a sustainability certificate at Trees for all.After the show, all remaining waste will be collected by the DAR.In the future, we have the ambition to provide an even more sustainable alternative, like a laser or drone show, without having to compensate any emissions. Hopefully this will become more affordable and we will be able to find partners who are willing to invest in this and support us as sponsors
We also take sustainability into account in our communication efforts. We for instance invest in the use of sustainable materials when creating advertisement like billboards, and also print our flyers, brochures and business cards on recycled paper as often as we can.
Safety net along the Waal
As usual, a safety net will be put up along the Waalkade (the dock).The net — which is 1.20m high and 500m long — is put in place to prevent plastic cups and waste from entering the river during the Vierdaagsefeesten.
Water service points
Just like last year, there will be different water taps located throughout the city. In cooperation with Vitens, we have been able to set up 11 different points where you can get water from a faucet for free, year-round.
Where do you find these water service points? Take a look on the map.
Extra space for bike storage
We like to encourage our visitors to travel to Nijmegen in the most environmentally-friendly ways possible, for instance by bike! We facilitate this by providing many extra spaces for bike storage during the Vierdaagsefeesten.
Take a look at the map to see where you can park your bike.
Together with Festival 't Eiland, we have requested the City of Nijmegen to place fixed power boxed at the city Island of Nijmegen. This way, very little biodiesel aggregates are being used, green energy is used instead
Orange Nanotech developed an invisible coating which can be applied to walls to make them immune to the harmful effects of public urination. The layer will furthermore cause the urine to ‘bounce back’ from the walls, which will discourage public urination and will therefore prevent its unpleasant accompanying smells.
Peeback coating is annually applied on two locations. This year, however, this number has increased to six locations, which means you should just make use of the restrooms that are specifically provided for this purpose ?. You can moreover be fined for public urination, and during the Vierdaagsefeesten there are enough other ways to spend your hard-earned money which are a lot more fun.
Watch the video below about the coating.
Contribute to a clean event:
Your role as visitor is vital to the organisation of sustainable events, just imagine 300.000 visitors contributing to sustainability! With some small adjustments you can reduce your personal footprint and contribute to a more sustainable festival. Will you join us?
1. Arrive by train, by bike or on foot. Is there no train station in your city or town? Bike to the next city to catch a train? We work together with NS and extra trains are running. There will also be additional bike parkings provided.
2. Buy and recycle your drinks at the bar.Buying your drinks at the bar in itself is important for the event, this way we can finance the program and our way to becoming more sustainable. By returning your circular cup (at the bar) we are creating a cleaner city without wasting materials.
3. Use the waste binsThrow your waste and cigarettes in the waste bags and bins provided. We will make sure to separate the trash, meaning as little waste as possible will be wasted and burned.
4. Eat sustainably and localThere is a great selection of food available at the Vierdaagsefeesten, enough choice. Your food choices have s big impact on your personal footprint.
5. Use the circular toilets when nature callsDid you know your pee exists of 90% water and 10% nutrition? These precious materials are preserved through our circular toilet system. The toilets are free of charge and while you wait you will be offered is nice cup of circular mint tea. What more could you wish for?
Plastic Pact NL
Every year we improve on our sustainability. Fortunately, we are in this together with our partners, such as DAR, Semila Sanitair, Peebackcoating, the City of Nijmegen and of course all the event organisers. In 2023 we will announce our new strategy for the coming years and our sustainability program, which will be published here
Plastic promise is a national movement joined by Stichting Vierdaagsefeesten. It is an initiative by Green Events Nederland and the Green Deal ‘Afvalvrije Festivals’ (Waste free Festivals) and is again supported by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.
Cooperating with other pioneers in the event, festival and sports industry, we are committed to the responsible use of plastic. We aim to diminish the use of disposable plastic by 50% within the coming three years by either recycling, or replacing plastic altogether.
Never Give Up On Your Cup
In May 2019, Plastic Promise launched the campaign ‘Never Give Up On Your Cup’. It was initiated to encourage all Dutch festivalgoers to return their used plastic bottles or cups to the bar or designated trash can, so they can be re-used or recycled.
Green Capital 2018
In 2018, Nijmegen was chosen as the Green Capital of Europe. Nijmegen received this award due to its longstanding commitment to making the city greener and more sustainable. You may have been able to sneak a peek at the new visitors pavilion at Kelfkensbos at the Vierdaagsefeesten in 2018, or maybe you participated in the GGRRUUNE march on Thursday July 19 2018.