Friends of the Earth is urging sport stadiums and other venues across the UK to introduce reusable cup initiatives after Arsenal revealed that its scheme – introduced at the start of the season – has already prevented an incredible half a million single-use plastic cups being chucked away.
A campaign to persuade football clubs to introduce returnable cup schemes as part of a comprehensive set of measures to get rid of unnecessary single-use plastic was launched by Friends of the Earth towards the end of last year.
The campaign group estimated that over six million single-use plastic cups were thrown away in the previous Premier League season.
A YouGov poll of UK football fans, commissioned by Friends of the Earth for the campaign launch, found 84% agreed that Premier League clubs should ensure reusable or returnable cups are used in their stadiums.
An online Friends of the Earth petition calling on football clubs to act on plastic has already been signed by over 35,000 people, showing the appetite that exists to stop unnecessary plastic waste.
The environmental campaign group is also urging clubs to sign up to a plastic reduction pledge.
If more football clubs, sports grounds and venues took action on plastic it would have a significant impact on the tide of plastic pollution swamping our planet
Friends of the Earth plastics campaigner Tony Bosworth said: “We’ve been calling on stadiums across the country to take action on plastic waste, so it’s fantastic to see that Arsenal’s reusable cup scheme has already prevented hundreds of thousands of disposable plastic cups being landfilled or incinerated.
“If more football clubs, sports grounds and venues took action on plastic it would have a significant impact on the tide of plastic pollution swamping our planet.
“It’s great to see Arsenal showing leadership on this crucial issue: Plastic pollution blights our planet and threatens our wildlife.
“It’s time to give single-use plastic the boot.”
Friends of the Earth is also calling on the government to act on the scourge of plastic pollution by using its flagship Environment Bill – which is due to be discussed by MPs next week – to force a shift away from single-use and throw-away plastics in favour of reusable alternatives.