Twickenham Stadium, the home of English rugby union, has announced its latest initiative to further its sustainability credentials by partnering with Lyfecycle to repurpose plastic cups used during events into team benches for grassroots rugby.
The move is part of the venue’s continued commitment to reducing waste and promoting circular solutions. Twickenham launched its “Define Your Legacy” campaign last year, which included introducing a “self-destructing” plastic cup, and more recently, the introduction of carbon labelling across its match day and non-match day menus.
After the plastic cups were collected during the Autumn Nations Series, they were cleaned and shredded before being mixed with recycled plastic and melted into planks to form the benches. The benches, which are expected to last for decades, can also be recycled into new timber alternatives at the end of their life.
The initiative has been welcomed by the Rugby Football Union (RFU), which is using the benches as part of its “Good for Rugby” programme to support grassroots rugby clubs across the UK.
“It’s great to see Twickenham Stadium leading the way in finding circular solutions to event waste,” said RFU CEO Bill Sweeney. “By repurposing plastic cups into benches, Twickenham is demonstrating how we can create a positive legacy from our events and support the communities around us.”
The move is part of a wider trend in the sports industry to reduce waste and promote circularity. Earlier this year, UEFA announced plans to introduce a “single-use plastic-free” policy at all its events, including the UEFA Champions League, with immediate effect. This followed similar initiatives from the International Olympic Committee and the organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, who made sustainability a key focus of the Games.
Twickenham Stadium’s managing director, Nils Braude, said: “We’re proud to be at the forefront of sustainability efforts in the sports industry. By participating in our recycling and waste reduction efforts, our guests have shown their commitment to a more sustainable future. We hope that this bench will serve as a powerful symbol of the positive impact that we can create when we work together as a team – both on and off the field.”