Monday, 21 October 2013

The Humble Plastic Cup

I really like helping as a marshal at various races, as it's great fun, (but often tough long days!) but great to be able to put something back into the as well as help people achieve goals  ... AND HAVE FUN!

We all enjoy getting out to wonderful places, and taking in some great scenery but I'd wish some racers would think more about their use of the humble plastic cup.  No - this isn't a rant about litter - but just a 'Heads Up' to think about how you use plastic cups as you fly by drinks stations, AND more importantly what happens once you've gone.

Ok - it might be acceptable to grab a cup or two, drink some water, throw some on over your head - then drop to on the floor in a road race, but not on the Trail. And certainly not in the mountains.

We really must think more about limiting our use and the proper disposal of them

All of us have a duty to dispose of them efficiently. I suggest Trail Runners need to use just One (or none at all if they are using bottles or a drinks bladder).  And race organsiers have a duty to recycle plastic cups (and other litter where possible)

Helping at events is great fun, and so many runners are very cheery and grateful ... but marshalls are not there to go chasing after your wind borne cups.  One of the thankless and unseen task of any event organiser is clearing away bags and bags of rubbish.  Infact, pre and post-race work is not glamorous and hard work!

Ok, so it's not about the cost of the cup, but clearing away and managing a dozen or so sticky bin bags, full of half sucked Gels, banana skins, someone elses left over sandwiches, discarded socks.. and a lot worse sometimes.  By sorting that rubbish with The Hunble Plastic Cups stacked neatly, plastic bottles crushed, real rubbish separated, the volume is is sort into perhaps 10% of the original mess, and the majority of it can be recycled quickly and very easily. Naturally, there is a cost saving to use all here too!

This was actually a 100km Commonwealth drinks station ... not really typical of what I mean
The bit about sorting generally and stacking cups, crushing cans, etc really does work.  I often come home after my events or others I've worked on, with just one small bag of genuine proper rubbish and two or three bags of ready sorted cans and plastic, which can be taken straight to any recycling centre.  The alternative is a dozen stick big bins that go into landfill, often at an additional expense.

It's a culture thing - Road races litter with cups. A well managed trail race drinks station with limited cups.  Or a fell race with a photo of a stream - You choose!

So - Please just remember this - If you using a cup, use just ONE - then stack with the empties

I can feel a full article / blog on this:  eco friendly trail and mountain running.

No Worries,