Surrey’s plastic free policy
Surrey’s home at the Kia Oval was awarded ECOSmart Gold Status by environmental sustainability experts, Greengage Solutions, at the start of 2021.
The listing recognises the long-term focus that Surrey CCC have placed on ensuring sustainability is at the heart of the club’s work.
This commitment includes serving every drink bought at the ground in a reusable, recyclable glass – disposable pint glasses have not been used since 2015. In addition, 14 water fountains have been installed around the ground to allow fans to refill their own bottles.
All electricity at the ground is generated from renewable energy while the club instigated a procurement strategy focused on ensuring vendors sell products that have fully recyclable or compostable packaging.
Kitchens at the ground use an ‘Orca’ machine which processes food waste into a liquid that can be disposed of using the regular drainage system.
The decision to go plastic-free was fuelled in 2015 by the frustration over the creation of ‘beer snakes’, where fans stack numerous plastic pint glasses to create massive long tubes of plastic that ‘snake’ around the stadium.
“While seemingly a bit of harmless fun, we’d had complaints from fans that it was spoiling their experience,” explains Jon Surtees, Surrey’s head of media, communications and community. “As well as creating an atmosphere we weren’t comfortable with, it was a very visual representation of plastic waste.
“After one particularly challenging night of T20 we pushed the button and got rid of disposable single use pint pots. Amazingly it only took us about two weeks to do, and for that we were indebted to Twickenham rugby stadium.
“They had gone through a similar process, but it had taken them about five months to develop a solution. They sat down, shared their knowledge and told us everything they knew, which was fantastic.”