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Arsenal save half a million single-use plastic cups from landfill – Friends of the Earth reaction

news release

• Video: Arsenal’s reusable cup scheme in operation
• Football clubs, sports grounds and venues urged to act on single-use plastic
 
Friends of the Earth is urging sport stadiums and other venues across the UK to introduce reusable cup initiatives after Arsenal revealed today that its scheme – introduced at the start of the season – has already prevented an incredible half a million single-use plastic cups being chucked away. 
 
A campaign to persuade football clubs to introduce returnable cup schemes as part of a comprehensive set of measures to get rid of unnecessary single-use plastic was launched by Friends of the Earth towards the end of last year.

The campaign group estimated that over six million single-use plastic cups were thrown away in the previous Premier League season. 

A YouGov poll of UK football fans, commissioned by Friends of the Earth for the campaign launch, found 84% agreed that Premier League clubs should ensure reusable or returnable cups are used in their stadiums. 

An online Friends of the Earth petition calling on football clubs to act on plastic has already been signed by over 35,000 people, showing the appetite that exists to stop unnecessary plastic waste.

The environmental campaign group is also urging clubs to sign up to a plastic reduction pledge. 
 
Friends of the Earth plastics campaigner Tony Bosworth said:
 
“We’ve been calling on stadiums across the country to take action on plastic waste, so it’s fantastic to see that Arsenal’s reusable cup scheme has already prevented hundreds of thousands of disposable plastic cups being landfilled or incinerated. 

“If more football clubs, sports grounds and venues took action on plastic it would have a significant impact on the tide of plastic pollution swamping our planet. 
 
“It’s great to see Arsenal showing leadership on this crucial issue: Plastic pollution blights our planet and threatens our wildlife. 

“It’s time to give single-use plastic the boot.”

Friends of the Earth is also calling on the government to act on the scourge of plastic pollution by using its flagship Environment Bill – which is due to be discussed by MPs next week – to force a shift away from single-use and throw-away plastics in favour of reusable alternatives.
 
Ends
 
For more information contact the Friends of the Earth press office on 020 7566 1649 / 07718 394786 (out of hours – please do not text this number) media@foe.co.uk.
 
Notes:
 
1. Friends of the Earth visited the Emirates stadium to see Arsenal’s re-usable cup scheme in action, hear what the club is doing and gauge fans’ reaction. The video is available for use by media outlets – provided it is used in its entirety
2. Friends of the Earth launched its campaign for football clubs to give unnecessary single-use plastic the boot on 12 September 2019.
3. Thousands of people have already signed Friends of the Earth’s petition urging clubs to act on plastic
4. This season a number of Premier League clubs have introduced re-usable cup schemes and taken other steps to reduce unnecessary single-use plastic.
5. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,075 adults, of which 625 identified as football fans. Fieldwork was undertaken between 12th – 13th August 2019. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).
6. Friends of the Earth is an international community dedicated to the protection of the natural world and the wellbeing of everyone in it. We bring together more than two million people in 75 countries, combining people power all over the world to transform local actions into global impact. For more information visit: friendsoftheearth.uk follow us at @friends_earth, or like our Facebook page

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