National Schools Regatta goes single-use plastic bottle free for 2018
The UK produces about 76kg of plastic waste per person every year. In the same way that people have increasingly moved away from plastic bags in supermarkets, we also need to find an alternative to plastic bottles. A single-use plastic drink bottles take 5 seconds to make, 5 minutes to use and 500 years to degrade. Images of our oceans carpeted with plastic rubbish are shocking and unacceptable and this year National Schools Regatta (NSR) is taking a stand for the environment.
Debbie King is the mother of three rowers and has been driving the recycling agenda for NSR. “I have spent a lot of time on river banks and helping out at events, sorting out rubbish and trying to persuade people not to take loads of stuff to events and then throw it all away. So I decided to get more involved with NSR a year ago and they have been very receptive.”
King’s efforts have paid off and this year NSR will be rolling out new recycling and environmentally friendly initiatives. For the first time, the event is aiming to be single-use plastic bottle free with the provision of 12 freshwater drinking tanks around the site for people to refill their water bottles. Additionally event sponsors, Charles Stanley will be supplying competitors with aluminium water bottles free of charge. NSR is also encouraging people who wish to cook to come armed with pre-filled water canisters.
Around the site, there will be recycling bins, and both spectators and competitors will be encouraged at regular intervals to pick litter around them. King is also asking people to embrace Tupperware to not only cut down on plastic waste but also to reduce food waste.
“What started as a general conversation about waste and consumption and particularly the importance of these values in a school environment has led to NSR adopting new initiatives this year,” says King. “There seemed to be a very obvious synergy between rowers and water so single-use plastics was an obvious place to start.” NSR will be tweeting their message under the hashtag #pushingforacleansweep.
If all the competitors and spectators in 2017 had used single-use water bottles, King estimates that they would have generated a quarter of a ton of plastic waste.”Clearly, there is a cultural issue behind the single-use plastic bottles as they are a relatively recent phenomenon.”
The WEROW stand at National Schools Regatta will be selling our newly-arrived sports water bottles. Our water bottles are made from BPA free polythene with a twist lock system and an ingenious membrane that prevents fluids from leaking when you hold the bottle upside down. No more sticky energy drinks leaking into your clothing and onto your hands in the boat!
See here for further information about the problems in trading and recycling plastic waste.