10th May 2023, UK: Twickenham Stadium together with Lyfecycle, are turning the stadiums plastic cup event waste into team benches for use across grassroots rugby. The move follows the launch last year of its ‘self-destructing’ plastic cup, but this time plastic waste is transformed for use in the youth game.
The announcement is just the latest in a series of innovations from the venue, which both promote circular solutions to events-based waste, but also leave purposeful legacies. Now, following the roll out of the new benches, event planners can see the direct benefit of their event in grassroots sport, adding to the legacy benefits of holding an event at Twickenham Stadium.
“It’s important that all of our customers know that every time they hold an event in Twickenham, they are directly and positively affecting grassroots rugby,” comments Nils Braude, Managing Director, Twickenham Stadium. “It’s not always as visible as this, so it’s nice to give them a picture – literally – of their waste being transformed from rubbish to a really useful piece of kit for local rugby.”
Twickenham Stadium’s cups used at the Autumn Nations Series were collected and repurposed into sustainable benches with the help of Lyfecycle and their community recycling partners Impact Solutions and Circular 11. The cups were cleaned and shredded before being mixed with recycled plastic. This mixture was then melted and shaped into planks for the bench.
The benches themselves are comfortable, robust, and able to be used for multiple seasons by the clubs they go to. “The bench is expected to last for decades, but when it eventually reaches the end of its life, it can be recycled into a new timber alternative product,” says Connor Winter, Co-Founder at Circular 11.
“We may battle it out on the pitch, but the fight against plastic pollution requires all of us to be on the same team. This unique donation from Twickenham Stadium and Lyfecycle will serve as a reminder that we can all make a difference, no matter how big the challenge may seem. Just as we tackle our opponents with determination, we must also tackle the issue of plastic waste. Together, we can create a cleaner and more sustainable world for generations to come,” continues Connor.
“Twickenham Stadium is proud to be at the forefront of sustainability efforts in the sports industry. However, we recognize that this achievement would not have been possible without the support of our guests. By participating in our recycling and waste reduction efforts, they 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,” concluded Nils.
The Lyfecycle benches are already being used as part of the Rugby Football Union’s ‘Good for Rugby’ initiative and are benefiting clubs around the UK.