Michael Gove urges Premier League bosses to clamp down on plastic waste

Posted On: 
18th April 2018

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has called on football chiefs to play their part in slashing the massive amount of plastic waste caused by big games.

The Environment Secretary said football had the power "to inspire change and mobilise action" on plastics
Credit: 
PA

Major sports events can see up to 750,000 plastic bottles binned, and the Environment Secretary will today turn up the pressure on sporting bosses as he sits down for a summit at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

According to The Sun, Mr Gove - who has led the charge to change the Conservatives’ image on the environment since last year’s general election - will float the idea of giving cash to fans in exchange for returning their empty plastic cups.

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The Cabinet minister described plastic pollution as “one of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time” and called on sporting leaders to take the problem seriously.

“There are few groups which have the global reach and power the sports sector does to inspire change and mobilise action,” he said.

“The industry is already making great strides, and I look forward to seeing how they can build on this progress to be true ambassadors for global change.”

Premier League policy director Bill Rush - who will attend today’s gathering - told the paper that football fans “expect us to do what we can to tackle this threat”.

He added: “We are here to learn from others as we develop our plans to reduce plastic use throughout our operations.

“We also want to use our reach to fans here and across the world to spread the word that each and every one of us can make a difference by choosing to use less plastic.”

The summit marks the latest salvo in the war on plastic waste, with Mr Gove earlier this year floating the idea of a ban on plastic straws. A ban on microbeads in cosmetics meanwhile came into force in January.