Rainforest World Music Festival to go greener this year

Sharzede (second right) with Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (right) showing the specially designed Trienekens rubbish bin at the RWMF 2019 press conference.

By Nancy Nais

KUCHING, May 28: The success of Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) 2018’s greening efforts have encouraged the continuation of waste management and prevention practices for this year’s edition.

This year’s 22nd edition of the RWMF aims to enhance environmental sustainability awareness towards preserving nature and the environment at the festival grounds.


Last year, visitors to RWMF exceeded 20,000. This means waste reduction is crucial, alongside recycling and processing unavoidable waste.

Speaking at a press conference today, Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) CEO Sharzede Salleh Askor said more than 60,000 plastic water bottles were collected at the festival for recycling, inspiring the introduction of free water stations to reduce plastic bottle waste this year.

In addition, a total of 645.70kg of food and kitchen waste, 51.60kg of biodegradable tableware and 11kg of waste cooking oil were collected for processing and composting. Another 50kg of paper, 105kg of plastics, 43kg of cans and 582 units of glass bottles were collected for recycling.

Sharzede said the RWMF was uniquely positioned as a locally held and internationally recognised event to create a positive social, environmental and economic impact that could benefit the people and the environment.

“In a concerted effort to make the festival even more eco-friendly, STB has been working with various companies and organisations, start-ups and social enterprises to tackle waste and reduce the carbon footprint on the environment in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” she said.

She added that this year, STB was working with Cuckoo International, who would install 20 water stations at Sarawak Cultural Village. These water stations would provide free, clean drinking water, and STB hoped festival-goers would bring their own reusable water bottles.

RWMF 2019 will not be selling bottled water in the venue to reduce the single-use plastic waste.

“This will be considered possibly the biggest impact this year at RWMF as it will greatly reduce the amount of single-use plastic collected at the festival. Festival-goers can purchase limited edition collapsible cups at designated stands but are still advised to bring their own bottles,” she reiterated.

The RWMF would also cooperate closely with food and drink vendors to select biodegradable tableware and avoid disposable plates or cutlery made from styrofoam.

Meanwhile, Trienekens will also return to RWMF as an indispensable sponsor, providing the festival with bins and bin liners, providing creative signage and posters to help festival-goers segregate their waste accordingly between recyclables and food waste.

Trienekens will also handle the treatment of recyclables and provision of recycling facilities on-site.

“As it has been implemented in the past few years, shuttle buses will ferry festival-goers from the city and from a nearby location to the festival grounds to alleviate carbon emissions as well as prevent congestion at the site,” Sharzede said, adding that STB hoped to tell the world that Sarawakians are very concerned when it comes to sustainability.

Other recycling efforts include transforming STB promotional banners from previous years into tote bags to be used as gifts and souvenirs. — DayakDaily