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Major Wellington Event Leads Race to Reduce Waste

Sport Wellington has received seed funding from Wellington City Council in support of waste minimisation efforts for the Brendan Foot Supersite Round the Bays event being held on 16 February 2020.

Each year, Wellington City Council has $100,000 available to award as grants through their Waste Minimisation Seed Fund. These grants are for programmes/new initiatives that target priority waste streams, reduce harm to the environment, and improve efficiency of resource use.

Traditionally at the Wellington Round the Bays fun run/walk, all participants are given a banana and a bottle of water when they finish, however next year as part of Sport Wellington’s goal for Wellington Round the Bays to become the first large-scale event to produce zero waste by 2025, the bottles will be substituted with Globelet’s reusable cups that will be purchased with the WCC funding. These cups will eliminate 14,000 plastic bottles from Wellington’s waste stream and can continue to be used for many years to come.

Wellington City Councillor, Laurie Foon, Portfolio Leader for Waste Minimisation said, "We are thrilled to be able to support this Zero Waste initiative and the Zero Waste aspirations of Sport Wellington through the Waste Minimisation Seed Fund. By initiating the Globelet re-useable cup system, Sport Wellington are demonstrating to thousands of Wellingtonians, and influencing hundreds of other events in New Zealand, that there are solutions to reduce waste and the use of single-use items. Eliminating waste out of the system is the way of the future so we commend this effort and are right behind other organisations who are leading the way in solutions like this."

Sport Wellington’s goal is for Wellington Round the Bays to become the first large-scale event in the world to produce zero waste by 2025. The 2020 event will be the second year of a waste minimisation policy for Round the Bays. 2019 was the first year of the partnership with Globelet, where 30,000 compostable cups were removed from water stations and replaced with Globelet cups.

“Partnering with Globelet for the 2019 event allowed us to become the first large-scale running event in Australasia to utilise reusable cups at all water stations,” said John Grieve, Event Director, Sport Wellington.

Globelet is a New Zealand founded company who have created a system to produce reusable products that are trackable and can be linked back to their factories to be washed and reused. The cups are made from recycled polyproplene plastic which means Globelet are decreasing waste sent to landfills, reducing the use of non-renewable resources, decreasing energy use and decreasing emissions of carbon dioxide. If any cups get damaged, they are returned to Globelet so they can have another life by being ground down and made into other fabrications.

Andrew Gilham, General Manager for Australia and New Zealand, Globelet, commented that, “We are really proud to be supporting Sport Wellington at Round the Bays. Through this partnership, we are pioneering eliminating single-use plastics at running events, taking another step towards our goal of ending single-use plastic waste in this generations lifetime.”

Sport Wellington’s waste minimisation policy also includes:

• Installing a comprehensive range of recycling bins at the start and finish areas.

• Ensuring all vendors serve food and drink in recyclable containers.

• Utilising reusable cups (made from recycled products) at all water stations.

• Wherever possible, replacing printed advertising with digital marketing.

• Using low/zero emission event-branded vehicles.

• Recruiting dedicated teams of volunteers to sort waste into correct bins.

• Composting organic waste.

• Replacing material race-packs with digital race-packs.

• Encouraging participants to use public transport to get to and from the event in order to reduce congestion on the roads of Wellington.

• Liaising with Wellington City Council to obtain best practise guidelines for waste minimisation.

• Raising awareness of our waste minimisation goal and encouraging participants to bring their own drink bottles and assist with correct recycling and waste management on the day.

• Encouraging all current and prospective sponsors, partners, and suppliers of the event to support and abide by this Event Waste Minimisation policy.

The Brendan Foot Supersite Round the Bays event will be held on Sunday 16th February 2020. Register online at www.wellingtonroundthebays.co.nz

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