Birmingham County FA, as part of their ‘Save Today, Play Tomorrow’ project, is today announcing an innovative new partnership with City to Sea, the not-for-profit organisation behind the award-winning Refill campaign.
The announcement is timed to mark World Refill Day on 16 June 2021; a global day of action aimed to inspire millions of people to swap out single-use plastics for reusable and refillable alternatives.
On average 48,000 matches take place in the region with 1,200 affiliated football clubs, 4,780 teams and close to 70,000 registered players – all of whom are encouraged to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated during the games. If each player swapped out one single-use plastic bottle for a reusable one throughout a 36-game season, over 2.5 million bottles could be saved.
Birmingham County FA will be encouraging all clubs and players to ditch single-use plastic bottles and opt instead for reusable water bottles or publicly available water fountains instead.
The region’s three Premier League clubs - Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers - are all showing leadership both on the pitch and off, committing to removing plastic from the concourses on matchdays. More information on the steps they have taken to eliminate single-use plastic can be found at the Sport Positive Summit Premier League Sustainability League Table 2020* - https://www.sportpositiveleagues.com/pl-2020/
YouTube sensation and local football star Tekkerz Kid (pictured) is backing the campaign. He said: “Growing up in the West Midlands and having played football here all my life I am really pleased to see the region tackling plastic pollution and I want to do my bit to support and encourage Birmingham County FA clubs, teams and players to use a reusable water bottle instead of buying plastic bottles of water to take to games.”
Eve Warlow, Marketing Manager at City to Sea, commented: “This World Refill Day we are really proud to be partnering with the Birmingham FA, an organisation that has shown itself committed to tackling the plastic pollution crisis by inspiring the thousands of players, coaches and referees it interacts with each season. By signing up to the Refill app the Birmingham FA are making it easier than ever to ditch the expensive and polluting single-use plastic bottle and opt instead for the reusable water bottle. This is something that will not only save the clubs and players money but also save our shared environment.”
Richard Lindsay, Business Insights Manager & Save Today, Play Tomorrow Project Lead, added: “One of the simplest ways grassroots football can positively reduce its reliance on single-use plastic is to promote access to refillable stations for all visitors at their venues. It is staggering that only a small percentage of the 30,000 venues on the app are football related. Football has the opportunity to make a really positive long-term change here, and I would encourage all clubs to register their venue on the app so we can kick single use plastic into touch!”
Refill is an award-winning campaign to help people live with less plastic by connecting people to places they can eat, drink and shop without the pointless packaging. Anyone can download the free Refill app to tap into a global network of places to reduce, reuse and refill. From a coffee on your commute, to drinking water on the go, or even shopping with less plastic, Refill puts the power to go packaging free at your fingertips. The app offers hundreds of thousands of Refill Stations globally and has been downloaded over 350,000 times.
For further information and to download the app, visit https://www.refill.org.uk/
World Refill Day is a global public awareness campaign to prevent plastic pollution and help people live with less waste. For this year’s campaign, City to Sea, the organisation behind the Refill campaign, along with thousands of other NGOs, sustainable businesses and individuals will be encouraging people to make small changes to their everyday shopping, reducing single-use plastic and finding out what they can refill or reuse near them.
*Shared with permission. Information correct as of 25 January 2021.