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MCG looks to boost sustainability with ban on plastic plates and cutlery
The Melbourne Cricket Club has banned plastic straws, cutlery and plates from the MCG and is investigating phasing-out single-use plastics from its restaurants and bars.
A leader in venue sustainability and environmental initiatives, the MCG is also urging fans to bring their own reusable coffee cups and will be offering patrons the opportunity to recycle any coffee vessels they buy at the ground with stations set up where entire cups - not just lids - can be recycled.
Plastic plates have been replaced with paper and wooden cutlery while soft plastic packaging has also been banned from giveaways on the external concourse of the 100,000 seat venue..
Explaining that the venue consistently aims to be more environmentally friendly, Peter Wearne, General Manager of Facilities at the MCC, recently advised “in conjunction with a number of our key partners and suppliers we are exploring opportunities to limit and where possible eliminate single use plastics from entering the MCG.
“While things like pie wrappers might take a while to phase out, we are committed to operating the venue in the most sustainable way.”
One option for phasing out plastic pie wrappers may be eventually replacing them with paper bags.
Wearne said dedicated coffee cup recycling stations around the ground would make a big difference as big crowds flocked to the summer of cricket at the MCG.
The MCG already turns coffee grinds into soil food for heritage-listed Yarra Park and wants to transform soft plastic items into repurposed new products such as outdoor furniture, with Wearne adding “wherever we can, we strive to buy products made from recycled plastics, from the bollards in Yarra Park to speed humps for the roadways beneath the stadium.”
The venue has formed a working party with neighbouring Richmond Football Club and Tennis Australia to workshop ways to reduce their impact on the environment.
Last month the MCC won an award for Sustainability and Environmental Impact at the Facility Management Industry Awards for Excellence.
It has also signed on to the United Nations Sports for Climate Change Action Framework, joining the likes of New York Yankees, FIFA, NBA and International Olympic Committee.
Wearne went on to state “on average we recycle more than 75% of all waste generated at MCG events but we are always aiming to improve.
“We are increasingly holding our partners, contractors and even our patrons to the high standards we set ourselves (and are) looking at how to educate the four million people who come to the MCG every year about environmental, sustainable initiatives."
By contrast, it was reported at the end of last week that management at Geelong’s GMHBA Stadium have no plans to emulate the MCG’s plan to ban single-use plastics.
The Geelong Advertiser advised that Kardinia Park will continue dishing out plastic straws, cutlery and plates, with the Stadium Trust not directly answering questions about whether it would ban single-use plastic or when a ban would take place.
Trust Chief Executive Gerard Griffin advised “the Trust will continue to investigate and monitor best practice around the world while having discussions with key partners such as the Geelong Football Club and its suppliers on the improvement of the stadium’s environmental footprint.”
In the last financial year, the Kardinia Park Stadium Trust became a member of the Sports Environment Alliance, which focuses on how sporting organisations can be more sustainable.
The Trust has also partnered with Barwon Water and Vic Health to install 10 water stations around the venue.
8th December 2019 - MCG Sheffield Shield game abandoned as pitch deemed unplayable
2nd December 2019 - Sydney FC slams security at GMHBA Stadium following fan expulsions
13th November 2019 - Victorians urged to fill the MCG for Women’s T20 World Cup final
18th March 2019 - Plastic drinking cups removed from Sydney Showground
21st February 2019 - Sports Environment Alliance’s 2019 Summit to explore practical change
21st January 2019 - Sports Environment Alliance looks to improve facilities’ sustainability
3rd January 2019 - MCG set for $50 million upgrades in audio-visual and catering
19th July 2018 - MCG leads in industry recycling and sustainability initiatives
25th November 2017 - MCG’s sustainability initiatives recognised at National Energy Efficiency Awards
13th September 2017 - MCG launches energy sharing initiative
28th July 2017 - MCG looks to reduce F&B queue times with new technology
11th March 2017 - MCG leads the table on F&B pricing
10th November 2016 - MCG environmental efforts recognised at sport sustainability awards
22nd February 2013 - MCC recycling project reduces parkland water use
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