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UK football leagues pressed for action on reducing single-use plastics

31 May 2018

The Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee has written letters to the Chairs of the English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish Football Leagues to encourage them to harness the power of sport in the fight against single-use plastics.

The Environmental Audit Committee recently conducted an inquiry into Disposable Packaging: plastic bottles and coffee cups in which it found that only 57% of the 13 billion plastic bottles used in the UK every year are recycled, and that the UK uses enough disposable coffee cups every year to stretch around the world five and a half times.

The Committee recommended that the Government introduce a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles and a 25p "latte levy" on disposable coffee cups. The Committee maintains an active interest in plastic pollution and recycling issues.

In late April, the Premier League announced a series of measures to phase out single use plastics in its operations and supply-chains. Sports organisations have a large, captive audience and could utilise this to encourage more responsible use of plastics at sports events and more widely. The English Football League alone has 72 member clubs and is the single largest body of professional clubs in European football.

Chair's comments

Mary Creagh MP, Chair, said:

"Plastic litter ruins our streets, chokes our seas and endangers wildlife. We all need to do our bit to tackle the scourge of plastic pollution.

There is a huge opportunity for sports organisations to reduce the use of throwaway plastic at matches and encourage fans to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

I want the UK's football leagues to show leadership on this issue."

Further information

Image: iStockphoto