PHA Group - Surry County Cricket promoting their plastic free policy at The Oval, London. left to right: Alex Lewis, General Manger, The Kia Oval and Richard Gould, Chief Executive, Surrey County Cricket Club. 23.5.2019 Photographer Sam Pearce / www.square-image.co.uk
England’s iconic Oval ground will host the opening game of this year’s cricket world cup on Thursday – and plastic pollution is set to be the biggest loser.
Home of Surrey County Cricket Club, the Oval is on a mission to eliminate all single-use plastic. Among the venue’s initiatives, the 10,000 plastic pint glasses that will be used to fill thirsty sports fans this week will be recycled, rather than discarded. More than this though, the Oval management team wants to go completely plastic-free by 2020, and is 90% of the way there already.
Free water fountains are slashing sales of bottled water, while reusable glassware is offered at the stadium via a deposit scheme, where fans either return them and get their £1 deposit back, keep as a souvenir, or drop in a charity bin. The club says its efforts last year resulted in ‘690,000 pieces of single-use plastic – or six tonnes worth – from being sent to landfill’.
Sports connect with audiences in numbers globally that make it arguably one of the most important communication vehicles. The actions being implemented at the Oval can only help inspire fans and other stadiums to do more to eliminate plastic pollution.
Iain is a creative writer, journalist and lecturer, and formerly an editor of two international business publications. Iain is now editor of Innovators Magazine, as well as the strategic content director for OnePoint5Media.
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