From: Packaging News
Lord’s cricket ground has completed a summer long Deposit Return Scheme (DRS), replacing single use plastic beer cups with reusable plastic pint pots.
Spectators pay £1 for each beer pint pot they buy, and are given £1 back for every pint pot returned.
During the 2017 season, the ground used approximately 800,000 single use plastic cups – which has now been cut down to a fraction of that amount from the outlets at Lord’s.
“The intention really is that every cup be reused for its full life of more than 100 uses – we don’t want any cups to leave the ground or to go into a waste bin,” explained Russell Seymour, sustainability manager.
The ‘home of cricket’ has been deliberating about introducing a DRS for around three years or so, but needed to find the right partner to work with to generate the right business model that would reduce our plastic waste.
Some sports stadia have introduced different version of a DRS, but Seymour said Lord’s were keen to avoid the scheme becoming a secondary marketing tool and in the process, reducing less plastic.
“People seem to accept reusable cups as normal so the new scheme has been a success all round,” said Seymour.
“The usual model is for the cups to be branded with a specific event or a player or club branding. Sometimes ‘collectable series’ are created for spectators to collect. The idea is that the cup is taken away and the supplier and venue make money by spectators taking them home and not redeeming their deposit. The system works from an operational perspective by reducing waste, but it does encourage spectators to take plastic away from the venue.
“Some may keep the cup as a souvenir, others may use them as cups at home, some may hold a toothbrush or be used as a desk tidy, but many will be thrown away after a period of time. These are unlikely to be captured for recycling. So from a sustainability perspective we wanted a system where we clearly stated that we want to keep our cups, wash them and re-use them – just as you would in a pub or restaurant.”
The ground is also aiming to remove plastic straws, is selling water in cans rather than plastic bottles, and adding 21 water bottle refill points for spectators to bring their own refillable water bottle.
An additional advantage has been less littering in general – as well as bonus money for kids running around collecting empty cups that some spectators don’t have the time or desire to return.
“Some enterprising young people do collect empty cups and make some money, but we have a rule that anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult to get the deposit back, and we also limit to 20 cups per transaction to try to keep it under control.
“There is no doubt that this scheme has made a real difference to the general clean-up after a match, and this is yet another benefit to our operational considerations of implementing reusable cups.”