Football clubs urged to give single-use plastic cups the boot

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Football clubs are being urged to switch to returnable cups at their stadiums in a bid to cut plastic waste.

An estimated six million single-use cups may have been used in the Premier League last season – and according to campaigners, fans of the beautiful game support the environmentally friendly move.

Some clubs are already making the change. Manchester City introduced a stadium-wide returnable cup scheme last month, and estimates it will prevent an average of 29,000 single-use plastic cups being used per match.

Manchester City
Image: Manchester City has already introduced a stadium-wide returnable cup scheme

Arsenal also introduced a reusable cup scheme with the Camden Town Brewery at the beginning of this season following a successful trial period.

Football clubs including Chelsea, West Ham and Fulham have also trialled a scheme, while similar initiatives have been operating at Lord’s Cricket Ground, The Oval and Twickenham rugby stadium for several years.

Friends of the Earth and the British Association for Sustainable Sport (Basis) are now encouraging teams to sign up to an anti-plastic pledge and offer reusable cups as well as remove single-use plastic straws, bags and cutlery.

Campaigner Julian Kirby said: “Football clubs across the UK should aim to be champions off the pitch, as well as on it, by giving single-use plastic the boot.

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“Fans want football clubs to take action on plastic.”

A poll has suggested such a move would be supported by football fans, with 84% of survey respondents agreeing that Premier League clubs should be using reusable or returnable cups in their grounds.

Mr Kirby added: “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, said: “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.”

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