Royal Ascot to reduce plastic waste through cup return scheme

Ascot Racecourse has announced it is introducing a cup recycling scheme during next week’s Royal Meeting to reduce plastic waste.

A statement from the racecourse indicated racegoers will be encouraged to place used drinks glasses in one of 200 dedicated bins around the site, and 350 staff will be engaged to retain as many plastic items as possible with the grounds. Ascot said it will attempt to wash over 500,000 plastic glasses over the course of the five-day meeting, and that it had not introduced a deposit scheme in order to avoid inconveniencing customers.

Jonathan Parker, director of food & beverage at Ascot, said: “We are asking our customers to return their Re-Cup glasses to any bar when they have finished or to put them into the dedicated, clearly branded 200-plus bins across the site.

“We will also have people scouring the site to collect from tables, picnic areas and such like. The glasses then get separated at six Re-Cup compounds and taken to the washing facility at Tilbury Docks, and then they come back to us. Each cup has an approximate 100 servings life.”

Collections from the racecourse will leave the site between midnight and 2am every night and the facility can wash 150,000 cups in a 24-hour cycle. Broken cups will be sent directly to be recycled.

The statement added that used plastic bottles of Harrogate Spring Water, Ascot’s Official Water partner, would also be collected on site and recycled.

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