Music and musicians have been on the front lines of major social movements throughout history, from civil rights, human rights, climate change and so much more. Their voices are needed to drive change. Ziggy is a change agent in the industry and an early adopter and ambassador for BioPak's sustainable packaging solutions made from plants, not oil. We've met him prior to his Laps Around The Sun tour 2019 to talk about how we can green the music industry together.
BioCups were requested at all Aussie venues during your sold out Laps Around The Sun tour with all venues opting to supply BioCups, reducing the environmental footprint of the tour significantly. This initiative represents a major shift in waste management at large scale events proving that compostable packaging and composting is a viable solution both practically and environmentally. Could you please elaborate a bit further on the Green Touring Initiative and what it means to you and your fans:
When did you first start taking climate action?
The very first time I remember taking action on something affecting my local environment was at 13/14 years old. At around 18/19 years old I started contributing regularly through benefit awareness concerts as a musician, and in the years since I'd say the most regular action I've taken is by creating awareness through public speaking about pressing issues while on stage touring internationally.
When did you decide to pursue a 'green tour' and what does it entail?
Touring with less impact has always been a pursuit; a lot of what we achieve is dictated by prior preparation, which continent we are touring, and the co-operation of our 3rd parties.
So far on this upcoming tour 5/5 venues are using Bio-Pak products across drink and serviceware; most food vendors at shows are using bio-degradable serviceware; all venues have implemented a waste management service/system (with Riverstage, Brisbane implementing BioPaks closed-loop waste management service); all venues are allowing us to host environmental stalls; production catering for 25-30 people are following our Green Touring Initiative incorporating BioPak, and We-Refill water stations will be available at the Brisbane show for patrons to refill their reusable water bottles. Hopefully, we achieve even more before shows begin and for future tours to come!
This has been a huge result and quite frankly it's only made possible by my team at Commonfolk Records. I bring them my ideas and they are the ones who make it happen.
What inspired you to contact BioPak as your main packaging sponsor for the tour?
As a concert attendee, it is not always legally possible to bring your own food and water packaging into venues - Plain and simple. I respect that in some instances, it is also a matter of safety and some form of single-use packing is required.
It's not up to the consumer at a concert if the packaging provided is responsible - it's up to us. So when we had the opportunity to work closely with Biopak on this tour, I was over the moon, because the level of positive impact is giant when the consumer has the availability of responsible packaging - particularly when the total attendance on this sold-out tour is over 32,000 people!
Do you think the music industry is greening up its act, and how could we accelerate positive change?
If even more venues and festivals step up. Right now a lot of artists are pushing for more environmentally responsible event management - and more and more venues and festivals are listening and helping make it possible. But a lot of the music industry still doesn't want to consider it, due to the extra work involved for all parties. When responsible practices become the norm with event organisation, we will see one of the biggest changes in impact.
For other artists touring Australia/ What are your key learnings from your green tour?
That this tour isn't green (haha). It isn't even close to being what I would comfortably call " a green tour". But we aren't phased by how tall this mountain is to climb. What we have achieved so far in minimising our waste as a team is outstanding, and there are so many levels left to pursue. And that's exciting.
I'd say particularly with artists starting out - try to be responsible in your consumption whilst touring. Share the trials and errors of that journey on stage. Sharing these ideas plants a wonderful seed in people's minds and that is one of the biggest gifts you have to offer.
For more established acts, I'd say don't be scared! Ask questions. Push for the changes you want at your shows. You might even be surprised at the answers you get when you simply ask the question.
We’re thrilled to be partnering with Ziggy Alberts to implement closed-loop waste solutions for his national tour once more and hope other artists will follow suit – leading the music industry to new heights while educating end consumers and patrons about the latest packaging innovations for food and beverage.