Tackling Events Waste in the Sports Industry

The 2021 Tour of Britain saw almost 1.5 million spectators watching the race in person, with this year’s event expecting a similar turnout. Events with footfall like this have the possibility to generate a lot of waste, and it’s important that it’s managed properly. If not, there could be damage to the environment or hefty fines for event organisers.

Tour of Britain 2022

The Tour of Britain 2022 began last weekend with over 100 of the world’s most elite riders taking part in the eight-stage cycling race across Great Britain. For the 18th edition of the tour, 18 of the world’s leading teams were due to compete from 4th September in Aberdeen until 11th September, finishing at the Isle of Wight after eight, day long cycling competitions. However, due to circumstances, it was announced that the race would finish after stage five. As a result of this, Gonzalo Serrano from the Movistar team was announced as the overall winner.

The fifth stage of the tour took the riders through Nottinghamshire for the first time since 2018. This started in West Bridgford, just down the road from our Flame UK office, and finished in Mansfield, going through Clumber Park. The Nottinghamshire stage is the only part of this year’s event that features less than 2,000m of climbing.

Sports events waste

Major sporting events like this have the potential to produce large quantities of waste. The more people that attend, the more waste is likely to be produced. A study by Cardiff University investigated the Football Association Challenge Cup Final and assessed the ecological footprint of the event. Considering elements such as travel, infrastructure, and waste, they found that the average attendee generates a footprint seven times bigger than someone going about their normal day.

These high turnout levels in football cause huge amounts of waste. A Freedom of Information request from a Canadian gambling site found that across the 2019/20 season of the Premier League created 2,117 tonnes of waste after its 490 games. This is equivalent to 1000 blue whales or four million footballs. Manchester United was found to generate the most waste, with eight tonnes per match, totalling 197 tonnes over the season.

a man stood up cheering at a football sports event
litter pickers collecting waste after a sports event

A greener future for sporting events

However, there are steps being made to help reduce the amount of waste produced at major sports events. For example, the Tour of Britain 2022 has introduced Brother UK green zones where riders can throw their waste onto the side of the road whilst cycling. Their waste is then collected by the team and recycled by Enval. They’ve also scratched their publicity caravan before the racers to fit with their sustainability commitment.

It’s not just cycling looking at a greener future. The International Olympic Committee has pledged to eradicate single-use plastics from its events. Additionally, London’s Kia Oval cricket grounds have also pledged to be plastic free, banning plastic straws and switching to compostable and eco-friendly coffee cups and pint glasses.

The London Marathon is usually a big culprit for generating waste. They managed to generate 750,000 plastic bottles, equivalent to seven tonnes of waste during one of their events. However, they are trying to reduce the amount of waste they produce. They’ve announced that they will be reusing signs from previous years and reducing the number of bottles on route by 20% from 2019. Racers will also be encouraged to use bottle belts, made from 90% recycled plastic to reduce the amount of plastic used by 45%.

How to manage your event’s waste

If you’re running an event, whether that’s a major sporting event or a smaller local festival, it’s important to manage the waste you produce to keep your site as tidy as you found it. We can provide you with all the necessary tools to effectively manage your events waste. This could be anything from litter pickers to portable toilet hire.

Litter pickers are a great way to manage the clean-up process of your event. Our team of litter pickers are fully equipped to pick in any weather and for any event. We employ our litter pickers directly, not through an agency, to help lower your costs and leave you with a cleaner site. We provide our team with all the equipment at no extra cost to you, to help the process run even smoother. At Flame UK, we try and recycle as much of the waste as possible so you can have the peace of mind that your waste is being disposed of correctly.

One way to reduce the amount of litter at your event is to have readily available bins so people attending can easily dispose of their waste. We provide a variety of bins to suit your event’s size, ranging from a 250-litre bin to a 1100-litre bin. If you need a bit more waste storage, we can also provide skips in sizes up to 40 yards.

Contact us

Are you running an event and need help managing your event’s waste? Contact our expert team today to figure out how to properly manage your event waste.

We can improve your waste management and cut your costs.

Book a site survey today!

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