Pier pressure prompts rugby clubs to become cup winners

Tuesday 5th November

Two rugby clubs have been provided with the props they need to become ‘cup winners’ in the fight against single use plastics, thanks to a top tourist attraction.

Earlier this year, the Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare started providing reusable Eco-Cups in a move which it claimed would prevent more than 120,000 plastic cups from entering landfill every year.

Guests pay £1 extra for their drinks in the cups; if they return their empty Eco-Cups to the bar, they get £1 back. Alternatively they can take their cup home with them, re-use it, and even bring it back to the Pier the next time they visit.

Since their introduction, the Pier has sold nearly 4,000 reusable cups.

They have proved so popular that the Pier is now raising the game when it comes to encouraging others to adopt environment-friendly practices.

They have reached out to two local rugby clubs, Weston-super-Mare RFC and Hornets RFC, to help them significantly reduce single-use plastics.

The Pier has given both clubs a helping hand by donating each club a starter pack of the Eco-Cups.

Jon Filer, from Weston Rugby Club, said: “As part of our on-going relationship with the Grand Pier, we were delighted when they approached us and asked if we wanted to provide our members with reusable plastic cups.

“We believe this to be an extremely worthwhile introduction to our club; we are very mindful of our impact on the environment, and given the number of pints our supporters get through on match days, this has been a very welcome move which makes perfect sense.”

Steve Fairhurst, Secretary of Hornets Rugby Club, said: “We are pleased to be able to play our part in trying to protect the environment.

“We think the Grand Pier is setting an excellent example to others, not only by using the Eco-Cups themselves, but by making a donation like this to spread the good practice wider.

“The introduction of the Eco-Cups means we have been able to discard our current single-use plastic cups and the example set by the Pier has prompted us to also look at replacing our plastic cutlery and to see what other environment-friendly measures we can take.”

Liz Kallas, Food and Beverage Manager at the Grand Pier, said: “We take our corporate social responsibility very seriously and we know that many of our guests are also keen to do their bit to help protect the environment for future generations.

“When we introduced the Eco-Cups here, we said we hope all our guests will consider the environment and think carefully about how they dispose of litter when they come to visit us because together, we can make a positive difference.

“The cups proved so popular that we started to think about how we could encourage other organisations to join us in making our environment greener and cleaner.

“That’s when we thought about the two rugby clubs, as we felt that, if they were not already providing reusable cups, we could encourage them, as we knew that the clubs are well-supported and such a move could make another significant contribution to reducing the amount of single-use plastics going to landfill.

“We’re pleased that both clubs didn’t hesitate to take up our offer, and we will continue to look at other ways in which we – together with our community partners and our guests – can work together to help protect our planet.”

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