Football may be coming home, if the cheers of excited England fans are to be believed, but the nation’s footballing celebrations are causing millions of pounds worth of extra waste to be created.
Research by the Uks waste management agency, BusinessWaste.co.uk has shown that the clean-up bill for World Cup celebrations in England will end up costing millions of pounds – with Wednesday night’s semi-final adding over 1,000,000 extra empty beer bottles to waste collections.
Local councils are already struggling with the excess waste generated by hopeful fans, particularly by groups of people using public spaces to celebrate – without being mindful of the costs of cleaning up afterwards.
“It’s understandable that people want to barbecue and have a few drinks in their local parks,” Mark Hall, BusinessWaste.co.uk spokesperson, said, “but the cost of cleaning these areas can really stretch waste management budgets, and with the hot weather – and the football – set to continue it could have a real knock-on effect for local authorities.”
Bars and pubs, too, are struggling with the excess waste generated by football fans. Some pubs reported expecting as much as four times the amount of their usual weekly waste after Wednesday night’s semi-final game against Croatia. Not only will this influx of waste place additional pressures not only on the businesses themselves, who will have to manage the excess, but will also place stress on recycling and waste companies across the country as they struggle to deal with increased demand.
On Wednesday night alone, England is expected to discard:
– 300,000 plastic pint glasses
– 150,000 kebab and takeaway trays
– 100,000 pizza boxes
– 50,000 English flags
While many of these items can be recycled, the environment is often far from revellers’ minds and many will end up discarded on streets and parks across the country – and some, such as pizza boxes, cannot be recycled at all. Food residue on the cardboard packaging means they won’t be recycled, causing an environmental hangover as masses more waste makes its way to landfill.
While England fans will be hoping to avoid this scenario, the game going to extra time – where an additional thirty minutes in played due to a draw at the end of the game – could see an extra £20,000 added to each local council’s street cleaning bill, as anxious fans grab a few more drinks and a takeaway to settle their nerves.
Despite this, there are ways that the general public can help reduce the massive impact that a sporting event of this scale has on the country’s waste management resources.
BusinessWaste.co.uk’s Mark Hall concluded:
“As a nation, we are all looking forward to watching England play this Wednesday. However, it won’t just be fans waking up with a hangover on Thursday – companies, waste collection teams and local councils will also have a costly environmental hangover to deal with.”
“We urge people who are having BBQs and drinks in the public areas to take their rubbish home with them and recycle it correctly – and for those of you having a late night kebab, the empty tray goes in the bin, not the street.”