“You cannot change your future but you can change your habits, and your habits will change your future”.
Today, June 5 is observed as World Environment Day to raise awareness action for the protection of our environment.
This year, the theme is ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ with focus on single-use or disposable plastic.
India for the second time is hosting world environment Day 2018 since 2011 under UN Environment.
Sports, like any other human activity, is set in an environment and is bound to have effects on it. The roots of global environmental issues are to be found in local environmental conditions and in context interaction of sporting communities impacts on the environment in many ways.
From divers collecting waste from the seabed to joggers picking up rubbish as they run, athletes, sports enthusiasts and many sports clubs are joining forces to tackle the tidal wave of plastic pollution that is poisoning the world’s oceans.
UN environment and executives of different sports clubs are working for innovative solutions and agree on actions to tackle plastic pollution.
The recent report estimates that significant sporting events generate up to 750,000 plastic bottles apiece, so the pressure is on to clean up the industry and use sport’s global reach to raise awareness among fans.
Here are ten examples of sports and athletes that have risen to the challenge.
1) Cricket: Going green in INDIA.
In Bengaluru and Indore cities in India, a new “Green Protocol” is being put into play. In Bengaluru, Chinnaswamy stadium has adopted a zero-waste policy, using an army of green-clad volunteers to sort waste and educate spectators during Indian Premier League matches.
Around 40,000 fans attend each match in the stadium, generating 3-4 tonnes of mixed waste each time. Because the waste is not separated, It sent to the landfill.
Under a new “green protocol”, separate bins will be kept for dry and wet waste and volunteers will make sure rubbish ends up in the right place. Damp waste will be sent to the biogas or composting plant while dry waste will be recycled.
Some partners, including the district and municipal administrations, cricket teams and UN Environment, have contributed to this strategy. The stadium aims to be plastic-free by 2019.
2) Football: Spurring others to act.
Tottenham Hotspur may not win the Premier League this year, but the English club is top of the table in tackling plastic waste. In April it said, it would phase out single-use plastics in its new stadium, due to open next season. The aim is to eliminate plastic straws, stirrers, cutlery and all disposable plastic packaging for these items.
In the US, Adidas and Major League Soccer released unique kits, made out of parley ocean for matches played during the weekend of earth day. All 23 clubs wore the Adidas Parley 2018 MLS shirts, created from plastic waste found on beaches and in coastal communities.
3) Sailing- turning the tide on plastic.
(Volvo ocean race)
It’s the race of a lifetime and the cause of a generation. The Volvo Ocean Race sees seven teams race 45,000 nautical miles around the world over eight months in a competition that aims to raise awareness of sustainability issues, including the threat posed by marine plastic pollution.
This year, the Turn The Tide On Plastic yacht is competing to highlight UN Environment’s Clean Seas campaign.
Skippered by Briton Dee Caffari, #TurnTideOnPlastic is gathering data on microplastics as part of the Volvo Race’s Science Programme.
4) Rugby: Twickenham converts disposable cups to souvenirs.
Twickenham, the home of the English rugby team, has introduced a reusable Fan Cup to replace the flimsy, disposable cups that previously used during games.
When customers buy their first drink, they charged an additional £1 refundable deposit. When they return to the bar with the cup, the price reverts to the advertised cost.
Fans can keep the cup as a souvenir or return it and get their deposit back.
5) Athletics: London seeks answers to marathon plastic bottle.
This year’s London marathon was the hottest on record, but it was also unique because organisers trialled the use of compostable cups to reduce the number of plastic bottles that typically litter the streets after the event.
Around 90,000 cups placed at three drink stations along the route, as well as 760,000 plastic bottles for runners. The bottles were all to recycled after the race, and the use of the cups will be reviewed
6) Baseball: White Sox step up to the plate to ban straws
In April, Chicago’s White Sox became the first Major League Baseball team to serve drinks without single-use plastic straws as part of Shedd Aquarium’s “Shedd the Straw” initiative.
The team said the move would take more than 215,000 straws out of play over the season.
7) Commonwealth Games 2018: Australia’s Gold Coast bursts plastic balloon.
The Commonwealth Games held on Australia’s Gold Coast in April and organisers were determined to do everything they could to protect this beautiful region and the surrounding waterways and oceans.
Helium balloons were banned from the event and spectators were encouraged to bring their transparent bottle to refill at water points around the grounds.
8) Diving: UAE diving enthusiasts go deep to clean seabed
In the United Arab Emirates, a group of deep-sea divers has been collecting tonnes of rubbish from the floor of the Arabian Sea to raise awareness of the damage caused by plastic waste while also documenting marine life in the area.
Mohammad Falasi, a marine biologist, set up the team after he found the sea floor was covered with trash.
Now he and his friends conduct clean-ups at the weekend, collecting plastic, metal, glass, ceramics, rubber, wood and charcoal.
9) Swimming: Taking on the Pacific in the name of science.
At 8,900 km, it’s no wonder it’s being called the Longest Swim. Adventurer and activist Ben Lecomte will set off in late May to swim from Tokyo to San Francisco and all in the name of science and sustainability.
Lecomte’s odyssey will take him through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a raft-like mass of waste three times the size of France.
10) Plogging: The new plastic-battling fitness craze.
You don’t have to be an elite athlete to join the battle against plastics. You could try “plogging”. The Swedish trend, which involves picking up litter while you jog, is catching on and there will be plogging events across the globe on World Environment Day on June 5.