The Oval, home of Surrey County Cricket Club, is on course to become the first stadium of its kind to eliminate all single-use plastic.
Surrey says it has already achieved 90 per cent of its target – a year ahead of its commitment to be completely plastic-free – by introducing a series of recycling initiatives, which have been endorsed by environmental campaigners Friends of the Earth.
Richard Gould, Chief Executive of Surrey CCC, said: “We are committed to eradicating all single-use plastics at The Oval, and having reached 90 per cent of our target we are confident we are moving in the right direction.
“Reducing our environmental footprint is a major priority for us. We are proud that we are now within touching distance of being the first single-use plastic free stadium in our class.”
The Oval hosted the opening match of the ICC World Cup yesterday when England took on South Africa.
It is estimated that more than 10,000 plastic pint glasses were recycled, rather than being discarded, thanks to a reusable beer glass scheme. All pints of beer have been served in recyclable and reusable pint glasses since 2015.
Now, however, Surrey is stepping up its efforts to eliminate all single-use plastic: All alcoholic drinks, including wine, spirits and Champagne, are being served in reusable glasses and glassware.
All water and soft drinks are now served in cans, rather than bottles, and hot drinks are served in compostable cups.
Plastic straws and cutlery have been replaced with paper and wood counterparts and no condiment sachets are distributed within the ground.
All food is now provided in recyclable cardboard containers and the club shop has phased out the use of plastic bags.
The installation of 14 free water fountains around the ground has resulted in water sales being halved, with more than 5,000 fans using the free facilities during the recent One Day International against Pakistan in May 2019.