Friends of the Earth and BASIS (the British Association for Sustainable Sport) are calling on football clubs to introduce a returnable cup scheme in their stadiums.
The environmental campaign group estimates that over six million single-use plastic beer cups may have been used in the Premier League last season alone.
Manchester City introduced a stadium-wide returnable cup scheme at the end of last month that it estimates will help to remove 29,000 single-use plastic cups per match on average, Tottenham Hotspur is trialling a re-usable cup scheme this Saturday, and a number of clubs ran trials last season.
We’re encouraged that a number of clubs have already introduced measures on this issue – but we need every Premier and Football League club do what it can to get rid of unnecessary single-use plastic
Successful schemes have been operating in cricket venues, such as Lord’s and the Oval, and Twickenham Rugby stadium for a number of years.
A recent YouGov poll of UK football fans, commissioned by Friends of the Earth, found 84% agree Premier League clubs should ensure reusable or returnable cups are used in their stadiums.
86% agree Premier League football grounds should remove single-use plastics – such as plastic straws, sachets and cutlery – where possible.
Friends of the Earth’s Plastic Pledge
Friends of the Earth and BASIS – whose members include Lord’s Cricket Ground, Emirates Stadium, Principality Stadium, the Jockey Club and the All England Lawn Tennis Club, among others – are calling on football clubs in the top four divisions to get drastic on plastic by signing the Plastic Pledge, which is based on actions that some leading stadiums are already taking:
- By the start of next season (20/21), eliminate single-use plastic cups for all beer and other cold drinks and replace them with reusable cups.
- By the end of the current (19/20) season remove non-essential single-use plastic straws, bags, stirrers, sauce sachets, milk jiggers (small cartons) and cutlery, prioritising reusable alternatives where feasible or removing completely.
- Ensure that fans can easily access drinking water through drinking fountains and refill their own reusable water bottles (meeting relevant safety recommendations) at water refill stations.
- Engage with fans, visitors and the surrounding community about the action the club is taking to curb single-use plastic and why it is important, and what they can do.
- Constantly review the use of single-use plastic products – and where practicable eliminating SUP from use.
Friends of the Earth plastic campaigner Julian Kirby said:”Football clubs across the UK should aim to be champions off the pitch, as well as on it, by giving single-use plastic the boot.
“Fans want football clubs to take action on plastic. We’re encouraged that a number of clubs have already introduced measures on this issue – but we need every Premier and Football League club do what it can to get rid of unnecessary single-use plastic.
“This is why we are calling on clubs to adopt Friends of the Earth’s Plastic Pledge – and commit to a number of measures that leading stadiums have already introduced.
“A reusable cup scheme is one of the key steps clubs can take – this measure alone would prevent millions of single-use plastic cups being landfilled or incinerated every season. We hope every football club is up for the cup.”
Russell Seymour, Chief Executive of BASIS (the British Association for Sustainable Sport) said: “BASIS works with all sports at all levels to reduce the environmental impacts of the sports sector. The impacts of plastic waste and pollution are one of the most important environmental issues of our time and we are happy to work with Friends of the Earth and the sport of football to reduce these impacts.”