It may sound simple, you may even think that you are "doing your bit" already, but what is your club or event actually doing to protect our environment?
Sustainability is more complex than people at first realise. It is about reusing, reducing waste, using less energy, shopping smarter, using products with less environmental impact and encouraging all of our team mates, friends and family to do the same.
For most people, recycling is the most obvious and the easiest way to help protect the environment,
Reducing landfill or harmful emissions from inceration
Reducing energy needed to create raw materials
Preventing harmful disposal such as oceans
Reducing impact of discarded waste on wildlife
The Rugby Recycles programme will challenge festivals, tournaments, clubs and teams in these key areas and we are producing a handy guide which you can request at the bottom of this page which will set goals and targets.
Participants agreeing to meet clear criteria such as recycling 100% of their plastic, glass and paper waste as well as committing to eliminate single use plastic cups will be able to display the distinctive "Rugby Recycles" logo at their event, on their website, pitchside and even merchandise.
Many of the inititaves will be familiar to many people but it is through coordinated and consistent action that we can make a real difference. Events & clubs that continue to challenge themselves may be awarded the Silver or Gold Rugby Recycles badge showing their long term commitment and proving that they have a sustainable programme.
Some of the most effective solutions are also the most simple. We can easily separate waste for recycling and create "Recycling Champions" at an event or club who will help people with education and advice.
Every year in the UK tents that are broken or simply abandoned at festivals and events make up 17% of the waste from these events with most finding their way into landfill. By working smarter and supporting organisations such as Scouts or homeless charities, much can be salvaged and used again. For those which are beyond using again, working with a specialist and reputable waste management company means that even these items can be useful. For every festival tent that is saved from landfill, it is the plastic equivalent of 250 pint cups!!
Selecting your waste partner is incredibly important to avoid landfill and we want to target all rugby festivals to aim for "zero landfill" in 2023 and beyond. Our accreditation process will help events to meet these targets and to ensure that waste that cannot be recycled is sent to an "energy from waste" facility where it is burned to generate energy.
Portugal Rugby Youth Festival & Move Sports Awarded their Green Badge
Thanks to the incredible work of the team at Move Sports (the company behind the PRYF) and their team of volunteers, the almost 20,000 people who walk through the gates every year have a range of rubbish bins to choose from for their waste and they are actively encouraged to make the right choice.
As a result of their great work, Move Sports & the Portugal Rugby Youth Festival was the first event and tour organiser to receive the Green Rugby Recycles Certificate.
There are lots more practical tips and targets in our Rugby Recycles Guide which will be available soon including reducing travel emissions which often account for between 60% and 80% of the festival's carbon footprint. Make sure you reserve your copy using the form below and become Rugby Recycles Champions.