Blog Archives

Time for Pro Sports to Ditch Plastic

By AARON SKIRBOLL, Sierra Club Magazine



Even in the greenest cities in the United States, sporting events are sure to feature the distribution of tens of thousands of single-use plastic water bottles. Bottled water has become the top-selling beverage in the United States (passing soda in 2016), and sports fans are guzzling it down. According to Waste Management, each year the country’s top 200 stadiums draw more than 180 million visitors, and “the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL generate a combined 35,000 metric tons of CO2 each year from their fans’ waste.” Add to that college sports—NCAA reported 36 million–plus for college football Saturdays alone last season. Add to this basketball, track and field, soccer, baseball, high school sports, with each venue’s concessions relying heavily on disposable single-use plastics.

Worldwide more than a million plastic bottles are produced every minute. Last year, according to Bloomberg BNA, 55 billion water bottles were made in the U.S. alone. According to the EPA and the journal Science Advances, less than 10 percent of all plastic is recycled.

To their credit, many teams have started recycling on a large scale. In 2017, the Seattle Mariners recycled 96 percent of Safeco Field waste. While laudable, recycling should remain the last option. The real solution lies in changing consumer habits so as not to produce the waste in the first place.

Sports waste is a vast problem, but the solution to the plastic water bottle scourge is readily available: Water bottle refill stations (also known as hydration stations) are essentially modernized water fountains, featuring a single or multiple faucets. And they’re poised to play a big role in the sport venues of the future. Many are already making the switch.

Read the full article here.

Kia Oval Cricket Ground Significantly Reduce Plastic Waste

By Rachel Cooper, Climate Action

2018-09-21-Kia Oval reduce waste-IMAGE

The cricket ground has introduced a number of measures to reduce plastic waste.

By installing water fountains and switching to reusable drinking vessels it has prevented roughly 690,000 pieces of plastic from being used at the venue.

This follows the year anniversary of its partnership with Sky Ocean Rescue, with the goal to slash the amount of single-use plastic used at the cricket ground and become plastic free by 2020.

Part of the scheme involved handing out 25,000 Sky Ocean rescue-branded reusable water bottles to reduce the need for disposable plastic bottles. They have also created the hashtag – #PassOnPlastic.

Fiona Ball, Sky Ocean Rescue’s head of responsible business, said: “Single-use plastic is a huge issue. Trillions of pieces of plastic are floating around our oceans, with another eight million tons introduced to this ecosystem every year. It never decomposes and will remain there forever. Working with the Kia Oval team has not only helped us bring this issue to life for an army of sports fans but also helped them make simple life changes that collectively make a big difference.”

Due to efforts from the surrey cricket ground, after this weekend’s final Test between England and India, 20,000 fewer plastic pint glasses will be taken to landfill.

Richard Gould, Surrey County Cricket Club’s chief executive, said: “Increasing the sustainability of our operation is a major priority at the Kia Oval as we work towards our goal of becoming single-use plastic free by 2020. It is a difficult journey, involving work in every area of our business and initiatives like this with Sky Ocean Rescue really help move us in the right direction.”

Read the full article here.

GSB News and Notes: U of Miami Football to Debut Eco-Conscious Uniforms; University of Louisiana-Lafayette Football Goes Zero-Waste; LA Galaxy and StubHub Center Go Strawless

By Lew Blaustein, GreenSportsBlog

The University of Miami Hurricanes will take the field Sunday at LSU in eco-friendly alternate uniforms, thanks to a partnership with Adidas and Parley for the Oceans (Photo credit: Environmental Leader)

The University of Miami Hurricanes will take the field Sunday at LSU in eco-friendly alternate uniforms, thanks to a partnership with Adidas and Parley for the Oceans (Photo credit: Environmental Leader)

As our US-based GreenSportsBlog readers head out for the Labor Day weekend, we’re offering up a GSB News & Notes for your end-of-summer reading pleasure. The University of Miami (FL) Hurricanes will open their 2018 football season against LSU in Arlington, TX wearing eco-conscious uniforms from Adidas and Parley for the Oceans. But should the Hurricanes also be taking on climate change, given Miami’s vulnerability to it? About 60 miles southwest of Baton Rouge, the UL-Lafayette is embarking on a journey to host Louisiana’s first Zero-Waste football games. And, MLS’ LA Galaxy and the Stub Hub Center add to the growing number of teams and venues eliminating plastic straws.


When the University of Miami Hurricanes take the field Sunday night in their nationally televised season opener against LSU at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX, they will do so wearing new, alternate uniforms made from repurposed and upcycled materials, including plastic ocean waste. The uniforms are the result of a partnership between Miami, Adidas and Parley For The Oceans.

While the Hurricanes are the first American football team to partner with Parley for the Oceans and Adidas, they are following in the footsteps of European club soccer giants Bayern Munich and Real Madrid in wearing the eco-friendly alternate uniforms.

More than 70 percent of the special-edition uniform is fashioned from regenerated Econyl yarn (made by Aquafil of Trento, Italy), a raw material transformed from fishing nets and other nylon waste intercepted in marine environments, and from Parley Ocean Plastic, which also comes from waste that was intercepted from beaches and coastal communities. The result is a “durable, yet breathable fabric that is optimal for Adidas performance apparel,” according to a statement from the Hurricanes. Players will also wear cleats and gloves featuring recycled materials. The statement claims the cleats are the first-ever styles of eco-conscious footwear to be debuted on-field for NCAA football competition.

“Our players and staff are excited to wear the new adidas Parley jerseys and gear for our season opener,” Hurricanes coach Mark Richt said in a statement. “We’re also excited that Adidas and Parley are teaming up with UM to help promote sustainability around the world.”

Read the full article here.

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