Football clubs, with the help of their loyal fans, are showing their dedication to making their clubs greener and more sustainable. The industry generates an incredible amount of waste annually and, with climate change becoming an urgent global issue; football clubs are taking proactive steps towards sustainability.
Addressing the waste crisis is a crucial aspect of sustainability in football. With thousands of fans attending matches, football clubs produce significant waste, most notably through disposable, single-use plastics such as bottles, cups, and food packaging.
In fact, the average European football match generates 4.2 tonnes of waste per match, corresponding to 0.8kg per spectator*. An even more staggering fact; through all the matches organised by each European nation’s football association, an estimated 750,000 tonnes of waste are generated per year. Looking at the domestic side of things, in England’s top flight of football, the Premier League, a combined total of 2,000 tonnes during 490 games in the 2019/20 season was generated.
Tackling Waste Off The Pitch
With the growing concern for the environment and the startling levels of waste, football clubs are embracing the challenge of reducing their waste and carbon footprint by implementing sustainable practices and environmental strategies throughout their entire club operations.
For example, Tottenham Hotspur has committed to halving the entire club’s carbon emissions by 2030 and becoming net zero by 2040, following the United Nations (UN) Sports for Climate Action Framework.
The United Nation’s Sport for Climate Action Framework invited sports organisations to join in a movement to achieve global change goals. The initiative believes that uniting sports organisations and their communities behind a set of principles can help lead the way to a low-carbon economy.
The club follows a zero waste policy to ensure no waste is sent to landfill. It does this through numerous strategies, such as the placement of numerous General Waste and Dry Mixed Recycling bin placements, as well as the elimination of single-use plastic items such as plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery and all disposable plastic packaging throughout catering venues within the newly constructed Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Most notably, the club has introduced a reusable beer cup scheme where cups are deposited in bespoke collection units; the Glasdon Nexus® Cup Stacker to be specific. Following collection, these cups are then taken off-site for washing and returned for further use.
For a third year running, Tottenham has finished top of the United Nation’s backed Sport Positive Premier League Sustainability Rankings for the 22/23 season.
See how Glasdon teamed up with multiple other Premier League Football Clubs, such as Fulham, Chelsea, and Manchester City in the Sky Ocean Rescue campaign; #PassOnPlastic.
Products to Make Your Club Greener
Apart from the collection of plastic cups, what other solutions are available to assist football clubs to collect waste?
Glasdon offers an extensive range of waste management solutions suitable for stadiums and training facilities. From hard-wearing Litter Bins that encourage correct disposal. to innovative Recycling Stations that capture multiple waste streams in one single unit. Glasdon products enable clubs to capture waste effectively and promote a cleaner, greener environment for all members of a club.
For external settings, outside stadiums, to avoid cross-contamination of materials and for safety purposes, we recommend a clear container, units such as the C-Thru™ 180 or Orbis™ Sack Holder; popular choices for areas where large crowds are expected to gather and particularly effective at sporting events. Orbis Recycling Sack Holders come with a lid that is colour-coded to match the recycling graphic.
Our Orbis Mixed Recycling Sack Holder was a standout solution at Celtic Park, home of Celtic F.C.
For internal use, inside stadium concourses, a sturdier alternative may be of more use. The Electra™ Recycling Range is ideal with modern environments in mind, manufactured with Armortec® coated steel to offer a long service life with minimal maintenance. Another sought-after addition to any sporting venue is the Nexus® Evolution, a system that offers unrivalled flexibility for the customer. Match the requirements of any recycling scheme with up to four colour, aperture and decal-coded individual compartments. A best-selling product that allows advanced levels of personalisation to convey a positive message to encourage recycling, or for businesses to advertise their brand.
By implementing Glasdon solutions, football clubs can enhance their sustainability efforts and contribute to the overall goal of reducing waste and environmental impact.
The Role of Fans
Engaging the community and raising awareness about sustainability are vital components if clubs are to make progress in improving their sustainability standards. Through initiatives like workshops, educational programs, and fan engagement events, clubs should be using their platform to inspire fans and educate them about environmental issues. This community-driven approach can instil a sense of responsibility and create a ripple effect, inspiring individuals to adopt sustainable habits beyond the stadium walls.
However, sometimes matters must be taken into your own hands; just the like the Huddersfield Town Supporters’ Association did. Their Sustainable Stadium Campaign discusses fan-led efforts to make sure football meets its responsibilities when it comes to the environment. It raises awareness of pollution and climate issues to make Huddersfield Town’s John Smith’s Stadium more environmentally friendly, backed by local politicians, faith groups, and community institutions. They aim to achieve multiple objectives including the phasing out of single-use plastics in the stadium, and the improvement of recycling capacity in the stadium.
A Greener Game for the Future
English football is embracing the challenge of sustainability, recognising its responsibility to protect the environment and inspire positive change. Football clubs are paving the way for a greener future through renewable energy adoption, waste reduction, sustainable transportation, stadium design, community engagement, and strategic partnerships. By prioritising sustainability, clubs are not only reducing their environmental impact but also setting an example for fans, other sports industries, and society at large. As the green revolution in English football gains momentum, it is clear that a sustainable game is not just a goal but a necessity for a better, more resilient world.
If you have any questions about our recycling solutions or assistance implementing a recycling programme, please Contact Us today!