Uplands RFC wins award for taking bold steps to reduce plastic

Published: 7 May 2019

Uplands RFC, a rugby club in Swansea, is the first sports club in Wales to receive an award by Friends of the Earth Cymru for the bold steps they have taken to reduce single-use plastic.

The rugby club has achieved a plastic-free sports club accreditation by Friends of the Earth Cymru for replacing plastic straws, cutlery, single-use plastic pint glasses, single-use coffee cups and food packaging with paper, wooden, compostable and re-usable alternatives. 

Sion Sleep, Friends of the Earth Cymru campaigner, said:

“Congratulations to Uplands RFC on becoming the first rugby club in Wales to receive this award. It was a pleasure working with them and hopefully the changes they have made will inspire other sports teams across the country to follow suit.”

Peter Evans, Uplands RFC board member, said:

“We know how important environmental issues are to the youth of today, and with teams ranging from under 7’s upwards, we wanted to do our bit. There is a huge problem with plastic pollution at the moment and we hope we can be the first of many sports clubs to be accredited. The switch to plastic-free has been relatively easy and we would encourage other clubs to do the same.”

BBC’s Blue Planet II, first broadcast in October 2017, has opened people’s eyes to the damage plastics can have on aquatic life.

725,000 plastic bottles a day are used in Wales as well as a host of other non-biodegradable plastics which can take hundreds of years to break down. Some of this waste makes its way into our waterways and ends up in the sea. The plastic gets carried around the world by oceanic currents and then accumulates in various places, forming giant plastic islands3.

If you are part of a sports team and would like to find out more about how your club can be accredited for reducing single-use plastic, please contact [email protected].

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