Poll: 84% of football fans want clubs to ditch single-use plastic
Football clubs have been called on to ditch single-use plastic and introduce a returnable cup scheme by two campaign groups following research showing 84% of fans would support such a move.
Friends of the Earth and BASIS (the British Association for Sustainable Sport) claim more than six million single-use beer cups were used in the last Premier League season alone.
Although clubs such as Manchester City, who has introduced a stadium-wide returnable cup scheme, and Tottenham Hotspur, who is trialling a re-usable cup scheme this weekend, there is still work to be done on the issue. There are already successful schemes that have been set up for several years at cricket venues, such as Lord’s and the Oval, and Twickenham Rugby stadium.
A YouGov poll of UK football fans, commissioned by Friends of the Earth, also discovered 86% agreed that Premier League football grounds should remove single-use plastics – such as plastic straws, sachets and cutlery - where possible.
Now the campaign group is calling on all football clubs to sign its ‘Plastic Pledge’ which calls for replacing single-use with reusable cups; removing other non-essential single-use plastic drinks products and cutlery; ensure fans can easily access drinking water; engage with fans and the surrounding community about action to curb single-use plastic; and constantly review the use of single-use plastic products.
Friends of the Earth plastic campaigner Julian Kirby said: "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.
"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."
The move follows previous work that Sky has done as part of its Ocean Rescue scheme with football clubs. The broadcasting firm has already said it would work with the Premier League to help remove all single-use plastics from its operations and supply chains by 2020. The Premier League was supported by a team of plastic experts from Sky, named the Sky Ocean Rescue Ninjas, to help the organisation reduce its reliance on single-use plastics.
Last month, edie also put together a list of the most sustainable football clubs in the country – ranking them from top to bottom based on their efforts to become low-carbon, energy and resource efficient.