An email from NSR parent set in motion an incredible initiative. Debbie King pointed out the high volume of plastic bottle waste at the regatta, she was right, each year the regatta had to collect and dispose of thousands of bottes. At the 2017 NSR there was an estimated 20,000 single-use disposable plastic water bottles. This accumulates in weight up to 250kg, which is the same amount of plastic that enters the world’s oceans every second.
We together with Debbie we decided to reduce waste and aimed to turn their 2018 regatta (and future regattas) into the first British bottled-water-free sports’ event. We focussed specifically on water and single use plastics. With the support of their main sponsor, Charles Stanley, we were able to provid fresh drinking water through 1200L tanks with each athlete receiving a reusable aluminium water bottle from Charles Stanley. Of course water is extremely important at our sporting event but being able to consume it and then dispose of it responsibly is the key. Through the initiative, providing water fountains and water tanks throughout the venue, athletes, parents, coaches and spectators did not need to bring single-use plastics, this was a big step forward in the right direction. We promoted the campaign on social media and newsletters through the hashtag #PushingForaCleanSweep. We communicated with participants, coaches and parents to reduce their consumption of single-use plastics. Debbie brought along bins made out of plastic bottles to show how plastic water bottles can be re-used for other purposes! From this we developed the initiative through #reduce #reuse #recyle
The regatta now offers specific bins asking everyone at the regatta to sort rubbish to reduce landfill waste.
With everyone involved with the regatta conscious of our impact on the environment, Debbie King and this initiative with the support of Charles Stanley changed the regatta for the better.