Pledge

How can you make a difference?

By taking the Pledge TODAY you join olympians, elite athletes, sports fans, fun runners and other individuals who have been touched by sport in some way. All on a mission together.

Choose a minimum of 3 to get involved.

Take my own water bottle

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What can I do?

  • If you already have re-usable water bottles then perfect. If you buy new ones, try and buy metal. There are some awesome ones out there.
  • Download the refill app! https://refill.org.uk/get-the-refill-app/ It tells you where refill stations across the UK are!

The Problem: Sources - The Guardian and plasticocean.org
Over 1 million single use plastic bottles are sold every minute globally. 480 billion were sold back in 2016. If placed end to end, they would extend more than halfway to the sun! These numbers are only increasing.

14% of all litter comes from drinks containers.

Difficulties:
This sounds like a simple one, but can be tricky, especially when traveling. Airports often have re-fill points and any cafe or restaurant will fill up your bottle for free. If you are abroad and worried about the water quality - try bringing your own filter bottle - check out this blog for ideas: https://toomanyadapters.com/5-best-water- purifiers-travel/

Always look for the best option:
If you have to resort to single use for whatever reason (from personal experience even with the best will in the world, sometimes this is the only option - buy the biggest bottles you can find and decant into your water bottle throughout your trip. Make sure you dispose of them in the best way available - ideally recycling.

Take my own coffee & beverage cups, food containers & cutlery

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What can I do?

  • Bring your own! My favourite coffee cup is the R Cup - https://www.rcup.co.uk. It’s leakproof, so easy to throw in a bag. There’s loads of great ones out there to suit any requirement!
  • You can ask at events to have any food you buy to be put in your own metal container - we love the Elephant Box products - https://elephantbox.co.uk ones and they now do sporks too!

The Problem: Sources - WWF and earthday.org
Americans alone throw away 25 billion styrofoam coffee cups every year. Styrofoam cannot be completely recycled. Most of the Styrofoam disposed of today will still be present in landfills 500 years from now. Food and beverage containers are one of the most common forms of plastic pollution found in the oceans.

Think football stadiums, cricket matches or basketball games - all sporting events really! The scenes at these stadiums and arenas post game or match often see single use plastic littered everywhere. Used for 5 minutes and then discarded to be around on our planet for hundreds if not thousands of years.

Difficulties:
You are most likely to get caught out with this at sporting events, travelling to a competition or going for a coffee post gym!

Always look for the best option:
It’s a hassle to bring your own, but if you accept you need to bring a rucksack or bag with you, then it’s actually pretty easy. If you really can’t bring your own, research the event you are going to and see whether they supply non single use plastic options for drinks and food.

Refuse Plastic Straws

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What can I do?

If you love a straw - carry your own metal one around, there are some really cool ones out there. Otherwise, give it a miss!

The Problem: Sources - StrawlessOcean.org

Most plastic straws are too lightweight to make it through the mechanical recycling sorter. They drop through sorting screens and mix with other materials and are too small to separate, contaminating recycling loads or getting disposed as rubbish. They are high on the list of plastic the causes the most harm to sea life.

Difficulties:

Get used to saying this as you order your drink! I’ve been caught out not saying it and then getting a drink with a straw in and it’s too late! Most likely to be caught out at a sporting event or watching sport at a bar or big screen.

Always look for the best option:
If you forget to ask for no straw and are given a straw in your drink, make sure you tell the staff you don’t want a straw next time and that they should ask customers whether they need a straw or not.

Leave no trace

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What can I do?

I live by the mantra that everywhere I go should be left cleaner than how I found it. It doesn’t have to be an organised beach clean, or stadium clean to pick up rubbish. Anytime, anywhere. Post run, pre swim, after a football game. It all adds up. Just make sure you dispose of it the best way possible - ideally recycle any single use plastic.

The Problem:

Somebody else will clean up after me...yes - us! Any litter left on the ground is liable to blow into waterways, streams and rivers which all end up in the ocean. Once it reaches the ocean, it become so much harder to clean up and will most likely degrade into micro plastics and stay in our environment forever.

Refuse single-use plastic packaging and bags

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What can I do?

  • Take your own bag, use your gym bag or carry your purchase if you don’t have one with you!
  • Find brands that don’t use plastic packaging.
  • If you order online, request for it not to come in plastic packaging in the comment box.
  • If you are at a sporting event and you get a free t shirt, ask for it to be removed from the plastic packaging and request next time it’s not needed.

The Problem: Sources - National Geographic

Plastic packaging makes up about 40% of all plastic production globally! USed just once, and then thrown away. It’s an easy win!!

We all buy gym/sport clothes and equipment which generally comes fully wrapped in single use plastic packaging - which is completely un-necessary. We remove it from it’s packaging immediately and then discard it.

Difficulties:

We often get given things at sporting events that are already packaged. I always make a point of unwrapping it and giving it back to the shop owner or event organisation and point out that it didn’t need to be in packaging or in a single use plastic bag.

Encourage sports clubs and events to find alternatives to single use plastic

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What can I do?

  • Keep asking organisers or management of our gyms, sport shops, sports clubs and sporting events what they are doing to reduce single use plastic. Highlight areas you’ve seen that could change/be improved.
  • If you are taking part in an event, email the event organisers to ask what they will be doing to reduce their single use plastic, a great start would be to send them the International Olympic Committee Plastic Game plan for Sport to use for running an event with minimal single use plastic footprint *link*.
  • Commit to create your own magic movement at your local sporting club, introducing eradicating single use from your club. Or lobby your favourite sporting event to sign up to pledges themselves.

The Problem:

If we say nothing, organisers do nothing. Our voices matter. It is cheaper and easier for things not to change, but when it comes to the planet we are rapidly running out of time. We need change now and we have the power to help it happen faster.

Difficulties:

People could respond negatively, make sure you are polite and solution focussed.

Reading for inspiration:

http://www.sustainableclubs.co.uk/

https://www.sporttechie.com/best-examples-of-going-green-in-sports/

Make your own event merchandise

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What can I do?

  • Make your own banners and flags from sustainable materials.
  • Refuse any single use plastic packaging your merchandise comes in.• Buy things you want to keep/wear again and again.
  • If you are taking part in an event and are given an event merchandise bag, give back un-necessary plastic items in your event goody bag to the organisers - if enough people do this, they will get the picture!!

The Problem:

Whether you are competing at a sporting event or supporting your favourite team, we all get drawn in to event merchandise! The foam hands, the pom poms, the whistles. There is nothing wrong with this! But, it can have a significant impact on the environment. If we don’t really need it in our lives and we only use it once before throwing it away, it essentially becomes single use plastic, even though it’s not classified as ‘single use plastic’.

Make informed choices

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What can I do?

  • This pledge is about understanding your choices and making more educated ones when possible. Whether it's for an event you are organising like a school sports day, your sports team is going away for a competition or any other personal or wider scale use - there are now incredible options out there to choose from that aren’t single use plastic!
  • The first step - do some research to understand exactly what different terms mean - like biodegradable, bioplastics, fully compostable, industrially composted and more! A good overview of some of these terms can be found here: https://www.webstaurantstore.com/blog/454/biodegradable-degradable-and-compostable-whats-the- difference.html
  • Understand the recycling in your area and how to dispose of products correctly. This is a great link to check out on all things recycling! https://www.recyclenow.com/what-to-do-with
  • Create your own compost bin at home! Many products are home compostable, but there are some that need to be industrially composted, so keep your eyes peeled! https://www.edenproject.com/

The Problem:

So much of our waste ends up not being recycled, or composted or put in the wrong place because of our lack of understanding of what means what! Don’t get me wrong, the system is a nightmare! Globally we should have a solution that logos, colours and words are universal! But we don’t...so it's up to us to be informed and make sure any waste we have goes in the right place and doesn’t contaminate any efforts to recycle.

Difficulties:

This is always challenging as there's so much confusing and contradicting information out there.. Often something which sounds positive, actually causes more harm than it might seem. Read up and understand more about your waste and where it goes. The better informed we all are, the more we can demand and do!

Spread the word of Big Plastic Pledge

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What can I do?

  • Share share share what we are about! Share what you are doing and what you would like to see change within the sporting world to help our mission to eradicate single use plastic in sport.
  • Tell your friends, post on social media and highlight any successes you’ve personally had in reducing your single use plastic footprint!
  • Tag us with #bigplasticpledge and we’ll share all your awesome work. We CAN do this. But it needs all of us, shouting and working together, united and with a common purpose. We are the Big Plastic Pledge.

Submit your pledges now

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Your pledge

Eradicate single use plastic in sport.

Once you’ve chosen your pledges and submitted them you will see how impactful we are becoming as a community.

The 1000 mile journey started with a single step.

This is our first step to achieving our mission.

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