UK football clubs urged to join fight against rubbish

Robert Stockdill

Robert Stockdill

Suffolk-based social entrepreneur Jason Alexander has embarked on an eco-mission – to get UK football clubs to better manage their trash. 

Alexander is the founder of award-winning social enterprise Rubbish Walks which through a program called Tidy Teams encourages football clubs at all levels of the game to lead by example. He is promoting a six-point pledge designed to encourage long-term behavioural change from everyone including the board, the players, and the supporters, across clubs of every size, from Premiership down to Sunday league. 

 “The UK is facing a growing litter crisis of epidemic proportions,” says Alexander. “Our biggest challenge is changing people’s attitude towards littering. We need to make littering completely socially unacceptable.”

The program expands far beyond littering around and inside venues. It stretches to the recycling or repurposing of club equipment like old goal nets, kit and training cones which UK recycling business ReWorked is collecting to divert it from landfill. 

UK football clubs urged to join fight against rubbish
Jason Alexander, founder of Rubbish Walks’ Tidy Teams program.

“We plan to recycle the tricky football waste into kickboards and recycling bins for the sports venues of the future,” says Izzie Glazzard, marketing manager at ReWorked. 

“The Tidy Teams initiative is a great opportunity to influence positive change when it comes to recycling, litter and sustainability. Clubs have a chance to show their supporters how simple engaging in litter picking and other community activities can be.”

ReWorked is known for recycling difficult-to-handle plastics and is the first company in the UK to offer a recycling programme for Covid-19-related plastics including disposable face masks, gloves, visors and Lateral Flow Tests. 

Another group to sign on is Kits4Causes which collects unwanted football kits and equipment and distributes it to social development projects around the world. The group hopes to deliver thousands more football shirts and other equipment to communities around the world.

“Football is such a powerful tool for change that to be part of a project whose message directly impacts every one of us was something we couldn’t wait to be part of,” says Chris Grindley, co-founder of Kits4Causes.

The initiative also includes plans to launch a Tidy Teams league table and an annual awards event to celebrate the successes of clubs and communities in the fight against rubbish.

Tidy Teams was launched soon after the recent UEFA European Football Championship, where England finished runner up. Alexander hopes to capitalise on the sport’s resulting high-profile to find suitable funding, sponsors and forward-thinking football clubs to help make Tidy Teams a powerful tool in the fight against litter.

Main image: @_AkG via Twenty20.

Robert Stockdill

Robert Stockdill

Robert Stockdill is a content writer with more than 30 years of experience in five countries. His style has built upon award-winning success in news and features in the print media to leadership in digital communication, spanning news websites, social media, magazines, brochures, and contributing to books. Recognising the devastating impact of consumer behaviour on the planet and wanting to help make a difference Robert launched Viable.Earth as a platform to celebrate positive contributions by brands, companies and individuals towards reducing environmental impact and improve sustainability – especially in the fields of fashion, beauty, food, lifestyle, and transportation.


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