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Environment Agency calls on sports industry to support Plastic Free July campaign

The sports sector is being invited to mark Plastic Free July (1 to 31 July) with a ‘kick plastic out of sport’ social media campaign.

Campaign toolkits have been sent to over 100 organisations inviting them to raise awareness of environmentally-friendly alternatives to single-use plastic items.

The toolkit has been created by the Environment Agency’s plastics and sustainability team as part of the Interreg Preventing Plastic Pollution project.  The aim is to embed positive behaviour change. Experts say that 50% of all plastic produced is for single-use items – items that are often only used a few times and then discarded, which may pollute rivers and oceans, causing harm to wildlife.

Environment Agency project lead Hannah Amor said: “Everyone has a part to play in minimising their avoidable plastic consumption and carbon footprint to help conserve the natural world. Sport can influence thousands of people that may otherwise not engage with environmental issues. Three billion people watched the Tokyo Olympics. That is a huge platform to showcase sustainability and make it the new norm for people taking part in and watching sport.”

The toolkit includes twice-weekly posts encouraging deposit return schemes, re-wearing old kit and avoiding single-use plastic waste at celebrations. The posts also signpost to new sustainability guidance for sports events, stadiums and community clubs, and encourage people to sign up to the Big Plastic Pledge – a global movement founded by Olympic gold medallist Hannah Mills.

Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution. It was launched by the Plastic Free Foundation which aims to see a world free of plastic waste.