What is a Trash Free Trails Approved Event?

by 4

A little while back Trash Free Trails announced they would be working with Red Bull Hardline on a new initiative. Trash Free Trails approved events are in their development stage for 2021, but TFT hopes to roll out a full program in 2022. This year, as well as working with Red Bull Hardline, TFT are piloting the scheme with The Scott Naughty Northumbrian and EWS Tweed Valley. But what exactly is a TFT approved event?

Trash Free Trails Approved Events

The aim of the TFT approved is to make mountain bike events more sustainable.

Trash Free Trails Approved
Photo: Trash Free Trails.

TFT Approved is a, free to use, self accreditation toolkit that enables event organisers of all shapes and sizes to massively reduce the #SingleUseProduct footprint of their events and #LeaveAPositiveTrace on the trails and wild places that host them. For an event to be considered TFT Approved, it must meet a number of criteria. There are gold, silver and bronze accreditation levels providing opportunities for gradual improvement whilst still having something to celebrate.

Trash Free Trails

TFT Events

Trash Free Trails say they will be producing a report detailing the outcome of all three pilot events in November. The hope is that “TFT Approved will move beyond single-use product reduction to cover all areas of sustainable events management. Providing an open-source, easy to use ‘one-stop-shop’ for all types of outdoor sports event organisers,” explains Dom Ferris, co-founder of Trash Free Trails.

We know how surprisingly complex event organisation can be so we’re really taking our time to develop TFT Approved. By collaborating with some of the World’s biggest (and smallest) and best mountain bike events such as; Red Bull Hardline, Enduro World Series, The Scott Naughty Northumbrian and Bude’s Dept 26 to field test the scheme to make sure it’s fit for purpose.

Trash Free Trails

Naughty Northumbrian

Northumberland National Park has a rugged, biodiverse landscape and only 2 people per sq kilometre live and work here. This places an extra responsibility on the Naughty Northumbrian event – a responsibility that sits alongside providing an all-time experience. To make sure it collaborates with those who live and work in this valley, conserve this vitally important space and help those who visit understand why it is so important to do so. It’s not always easy to see what is beyond the surface in a species-rich area.

Finding a way to elevate this ethos in a fun way is a cornerstone of Trash Free Trails –  so a concept such as the TFT approved event feels like a huge leap in the right direction for events, the sports image in an increasingly turbulent environment and a fun way of turning burdens of responsibility into exciting, feel-good actions.

TFT Approved

Indeed, most of the wins the event is trialling are easy. Testing 40% of course tape as Hemp tape instead of plastic tape (Something PMBA deserve a nod of thanks for), using solar light towers, ensuring we don’t place water infrastructure pressures on the local community by working with Northumbrian Water. Then there’s sourcing food vendors who use local produce and support good, local farmers, re-using or using recycled materials for signage, working with a refuse company who provide slips of where trash and recyclables go, and making sure no vendors are using single-use plastic are all easy to do.

Some things, such as event power provision in a valley where 98% of the buildings are still powered by diesel generators and sourcing compostable toilets within a two hour drive, is hard and not possible yet. The journey is iterative, but the Naughty Northumbrian recognises the need to act as fast as possible.

Trash Free Trails.

How it Works:

  • DOWNLOAD – events can get the guide and checklist from trashfreetrails.org*
  • STEP BY STEP – From pre-event comms to packdown, organisers will work through a simple, achievable step by step process. 
  • TFT APPROVED – Following the event, they will submit a ‘TFT Approved Score’ to TFT. Then TFT will send out a gold, silver or bronze medal logo.
  • SHOUT! Organisers can digitally and physically talk about why they have chosen to become part of the #TFTApproved programme.

*The checklist and requirements will be available on the TFT website in early 2022, in the meantime we’re encouraging event organisers of all types, shapes and sizes to get in touch to pre-register interest in participating in the scheme

For Riders:

When you attend TFT Approved events. As a self-accreditation scheme there’s a lot of trust involved in awarding events with their gold, silver or bronze medals. Knowing that there are hundreds of pairs of eyes making sure there really are recycling bins, water refill points and no polystyrene food containers for example is a great way of helping event organisers to stay honest.

Trash Free Trails

You can also:

  • #SingleUseSucks! From your sofa to the startline commit to being a #TrashFreerider
  • #LeaveAPositiveTrace!! If you see it pick it up.
  • #JoinTheTrashMob!!! Take the #TrashFreeTrails mission back to your home trails and share your efforts with us @trashfreetrails.

FGF Podcast 508 | Trash Free Trails & building a bike from only European parts

Naughty Northumbrian Returns for 2021

The Road To Tweed Valley – Episode One


Singletrack Merch

Singletrack Ride And Shine Coffee Organic Unisex T Shirt

We have taken Amanda’s awesome “Ride N Shine” coffee artwork and popped it on an organic unisex T-shirt, in a groovy coffee colour. We have all been tied up, shut…

Singletrack Sponsored Features

The Need For Tweed: The Scottish Valley With The Best Mountain Biking In the World?

“If you asked me where the best riding was, anywhere in the world, I’d have to say the Tweed Valley.” The man making this bold statement is Neil Dalgleish, a…

MTB Beds

MTB Beds – The Mountain Bike Holiday Company. #ONEPEDALAHEAD since 2012 Enduro and Downhill Mountain Bike Holidays how they should be! Established in 2012 and operating across some of the…


Join our mailing list to receive Singletrack editorial wisdom directly in your inbox. Each newsletter is headed up by an exclusive editorial from our team. There’s usually some links to what we think our most important news stories and Charlie likes to highlight some Singletrack merch from time to time. Don’t be surprised to find some pretty cool offers mixed in with all that lot too.


Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • What is a Trash Free Trails Approved Event?
  • Premier Icon pmurden
    Full Member

    This is a mega and great step in the right direction too.

    Premier Icon lancashire-kiwi
    Full Member

    Fantastic move by TFTs.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    That’s great.

    They now need to get on to the running race organisers – phenomenal amount of rubbish after our local marathon/10k/etc…

    Premier Icon duncancallum
    Full Member

    Great news.

    I know kev works hard @pmba to make it sustainable.

    Should have a points based thing where if you collect litter on your ride you get time knocked off.

    Itll be the only way I’d get a decent result😛

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.