How to Reduce Plastic Consumption at Your Sports Club

By Marsh

Posted 16/03/18

Since 1950, we’ve consumed 8.3 billion metric tonnes of plastic and produced 6.3bn tonnes of waste globally [1]. It’s clear that our attitude of throwaway waste is unsustainable as our oceans and planet are becoming clogged with rubbish. And, with the government’s proposed deposit return scheme pending, which will require consumers to pay a returnable deposit when buying cans and bottles, thinking about how to reduce plastic consumption should become a high priority for sports clubs. 

Making even the smallest of changes can have a big environmental impact and introducing a waste reduction policy in your sports club could encourage a more positive view of your club within the community. Here are some simple ways your club can do its bit and reduce plastic consumption and waste.

Start at the Bar

UK households generate 440,401 tonnes of plastic waste each year [2]. Potentially, a significant proportion of this comes from the kitchen through food packaging and unnecessary items. So, your club kitchen or bar is a good place to make changes.

A major source of unnecessary waste comes from disposables like straws and plastic cutlery; it’s estimated that Americans alone use 500m plastic straws every day! [3] Instead of putting straws on your bar, consider keeping them behind the bar and only supplying one at a customer’s request. Of course, you could just do away with them altogether!

Plastic cutlery is also an easy area to cut back on and you can make immediate changes by simply replacing it with a reusable equivalent.

Assess Packaging

Club equipment like tennis balls, golf balls, golf clubs, high visibility vests, and cones often make use of plastic packaging. Don’t be afraid to contact your suppliers to ask what they are doing to ensure waste and plastic reduction or request that your orders are sent in cardboard packaging, which can be recycled. Alternatively, switching suppliers could help you cut down on plastic and maximise the amount of packaging you recycle.

You could also look at the packaging you use in your bar or kitchen. Beer can plastic rings are notoriously bad for the environment and can strangle marine life [4]. But, as with equipment packaging, one of the easiest solutions is to research alternative products that come with recyclable packaging.

Provide Refilling Stations

Encourage club members to bring their own reusable water bottles by providing free refill stations at convenient and accessible points. You could even start selling refillable bottles to help them pick up a good habit.

Encourage Supporters to get Involved

If your club hosts competitive matches and you want your supporters to get involved and cheer on their team, give them materials that are recyclable. Some supporters’ clappers are made out of recyclable material and can be further recycled after use [5].

If you’ve got a cause for celebrations, or you host them, develop a set of guidelines that outline the kind of decorations you don’t supply because of plastic policies. As an incentive to follow your plastic policies, provide a clean-up and recycling service.

Set Clear Policies

Displaying clear guidance policies around your club will help to minimise your impact on the environment. For example, posters that outline what can and can’t be flushed down the toilets will help ensure harmful plastics aren’t making their way to the ocean, and could save your toilets from becoming clogged.

You could also take the opportunity to make it clear throughout the club that you’re attempting to lower your use of plastic and improve your environmental footprint. That way any changes you make won’t come as shock and it might even encourage members and staff to think about their own consumption.








Posted 16/03/18

Author: Marsh

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