Wimbledon, the iconic tennis venue, will ditch provide plastic straws at this year’s tournament, replacing them instead with recyclable alternatives.
The All England Tennis Club made the announcement this week at a press conference which outlined its wider sustainability plans.
Over 400,000 straws were used at last year’s event, many of them to service the popular Pimm’s drink, which goes through thousands of plastic cups.
Along with removing the straws as part of its “developing roadmap” towards sustainability, the club will provide 87 free water refill points and 21 water fountains for the public to use. This is a doubling of the amount since 2014. It will also increase the monitoring of its waste streams, which last year saw only 1.4 percent of its waste going to landfill.
10 new electric vehicles will also be used at the venue for the first time as part of its courtesy car fleet.
“Sustainability is an important and necessary area of focus, particularly for major events,” Wimbledon chief executive Richard Lewis told the press conference. “We have put in place a sustainability vision which is to sustain the running of the club, and the championships in a way that minimises the impact on our environment.”
The club was keen to stress that the measures were only the beginning and that more comprehensive work on increasing sustainability, and in particular combating plastic waste across the whole tournament, would continue apace.
Many sporting events are increasing their ambitions and awareness on environmental concerns. This year’s London Marathon trialled the use of 90,000 compostable cups to reduce the amount of non-biodegradable waste.
Tottenham Hotspur’s new football stadium in north London will also eliminate all single-use plastic once it opens later this year.
Climate Action Programme