Single-use plastic is suffocating our oceans and killing our planet, one bottle cap at a time. Gyms and sports centres are by no means the worst offenders, but there is a lot of room for improvement. The plastic your facilities use may play a vital part in your business, but the corrosive material is definitely replaceable. In an effort to curb global warming, savvy environmental businesses have come up with lots of appropriate (and superior) alternatives to plastic pollutants. Follow our guide to help you eliminate single-use plastic from your fitness centre.
The first step in reducing your plastic is to encourage customers to bring reusable bottles. Stock environmentally friendly alternatives like bottles made from stainless steel or glass. While reusable is best, it may be necessary to provide other options on site. Single-use doesn’t mean you should turn to the devil’s substance; there are numerous non-plastic options now on the market.
- Canowater is made from 68% recycled materials and is wholly recyclable. Plus, cans stay colder for longer. The cans are the most environmentally friendly option, as there is no need for a plastic bottle cap. A 24-pack works out at just under a pound per can, although stocklist enquiries can be made via the website.
- Aquapaxwater: the wholly recyclable carton material. It’s paperboard, which is made from trees that are sustainably sourced from FSC Certified forests. When bought in bulk Aquapax cost £0.93 each.
- Voss offers Norwegian water in a glass bottle. The only downside is that the lid is a little big and very plastic. However, Voss offsets its carbon footprint by investing in environmental projects such as wind farms and methane reduction plants. It is the cheapest option, costing around £0.80 per 330ml bottle.
Many gyms provide plastic bags for soggy swimsuits and sweaty fitness clothes. These bags are pretty essential post-workout, so that laptops, notebooks and chargers don’t get damp and damaged. However, keeping the planet at the forefront of their minds, many clubs are replacing plastic with cotton. Cotton bags are reusable, so customers must remember to carry them with them. Although clients may experience a few damp rucksack days, they will soon get into the swing of things.
Read more: Reducing paper at sports centres
It’s in your interest, to encourage customers to sit in with their coffees- relaxed, happy loungers exude customer satisfaction. If you have space for your customers to hang out, offer mugs for hot beverages and glasses for smoothies and juices. However, for those on the run, biodegradable takeaway cups can be provided.
Biopac produces compostable cups that are made from certified FSC material. The inside of the cup is lined with starch, making them 100 per cent compostable. It costs just under £50 for 1000 coffee cups. Biopac also produces PLA tumblers for cold drinks. Although they look and work like plastic, they take just 12 weeks to decompose- that’s 399 years and 40 weeks less than conventional plastic. A case of 3000 cups cost just under £95.
The war on plastic is on the rise. Plastic straws and cotton buds have been banned, but it is time to take much bigger steps. If you’re still unsure, perhaps Sir David Attenborough can be more persuasive…