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How Bältespännarparken became a litter-free festival area

A festival site without overflowing trash cans or litter on the ground? Yes it’s possible! During the Gothenburg Culture Festival, Bältespännarparken was transformed into a litter-free festival site thanks to innovative solutions and new collaborations.

New laws makes for new solutions

Every year, two billion disposable packaging are thrown away in Sweden, a behavior that contributes to the burden on the environment and makes it more difficult to achieve the goal of reaching the UN’s climate goals. With new laws coming into effect on January 1, 2024, restaurants and event organizers are facing a significant question: Is it possible to offer food and beverages without relying on single-use packaging?

“Challenge Accepted!” – Barney Stinson

Answered the research project RETAKE, initiated by Chalmers Industriteknik. Together with Gothenburg Culture Festival, they took on the challenge of creating a one-time-use-free festival site.

A system of reuse

The RETAKE project developed and tested an innovative rotation system for reusable items. During the event there were:

  • RETAKE’s adjusted, reusable food boxes and mugs.
  • A technical platform for using and scanning QR-codes.
  • An organisation for dishwashing and the logistics around it.

This is how it works

Step 1: Scan the QR-code to create an account.

Step 2: Order and pay for your food and beverage.

Step 3: Scan your borrowed plate and mug.

Step 4: Scan and leave in a disposable station.

The advert for RETAKE in the printed Gothenburg Culture Festival program.

The result, a sustainable festival experience

Through RETAKE’s model, Bältespännarparken during the Kulturkalaset could boast of being free from the overflowing trash cans and litter that usually characterize event venues. The project showed that a one-time-use festival is not only possible but also desirable.

“This is the cleanest festival area I’ve ever experienced!”

– Site manager Anton Romanus with several years of experience in large events.

The project in numbers


… disposable one-time-use items were avoided during the event.

3,8 times

… a plate was used per day.


… of asked were positive to RETAKE as an initiative.


… answered that they deemed the experience as “good”.

In photos

Street talker at the festival site. Photo: Peter Kvarnström

Information about RETAKE at food truck “Papis Pierogi”. Photo: Peter Kvarnström
Photo: Peter Kvarnström

Participants in the project

Chalmers Industriteknik, Karlstad Universitet, PANTER, Light My Fire, Samhall, Got Event / Gothenburg Horse Show, Region Gotland / Almedalsveckan, Göteborg & Co / Göteborgs Kulturkalas

From 1 January 2024, disposable cups containing more than 15% plastic are banned

Från samma datum måste aktörer som tillhandahåller mat och dryck i engångsmatlådor och eFrom the same date, operators who provide food and drink in disposable food boxes and disposable cups must offer this in boxes and cups that can be reused. More information about the requirement can be found here:

Erbjuda servering i återanvändbara muggar och matlådor

(Information from Naturvårdsverket)

Läs mer

See the lecture at Frihamnsdagarna from project leader Klas Hedvall here.

Hear Klas Hedvall tell more about the project on the Science Radio.

Read more about RE:Source here

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