Cardiff Half Marathon greenest yet
- Runners and spectators were part of Cardiff Half Marathon’s biggest ever recycling drive, to save energy and keep Wales running
- On-the-day plastic bottle recycling saved enough energy to power the 13-mile route’s iconic landmarks
- On-the-day workshops demonstrated how race-day-recycling can be recreated at home
Cardiff Half Marathon fans were a part of its greenest event yet this weekend, and recycled enough plastic water bottles to power the city’s iconic landmarks.
With more recycling bins and signage than ever before, as well as environmental champions who were there to provide information on where to recycle what, runners and spectators alike got involved in the 13-mile recycling race.
Huge levels of energy were saved by recycling the Brecon Carreg water bottles handed out at the event, and while the wave of green runners made their way around the course, Cardiff Half fans were invited to the ‘Run Refuel Recycle’ marquee in the Runners’ Village to find out how they can help ‘keep Wales running’ by recycling at home.
According to Recycle for Wales, every Cardiff Half runner who recycled one 500ml water bottle saved enough to power these famous Cardiff Half route landmarks:
- Power the Principality Stadium’s floodlights for three years
- Operate the Cardiff Bay barrage for 48 hours
- Provide the Wales Millennium Centre with electricity for nine hours
- Make sure Cardiff Castle stays regal, and keeps its electricity going for 55 hours
In addition to saving energy through recycling, plastic bottles can be transformed into a number of different products including clothing, as well as new bottles. Banana peels on the other hand, along with other food waste when recycled in many parts of Wales, can be used to generate energy, which could charge a range of household items – just one banana peel could create enough electricity to fully charge two smartphones.
Angela Spiteri, campaign manager for Recycle for Wales said: “While it might seem odd to us that recycling something as everyday as a banana peel can create energy to power our homes, we can all make a contribution which does make a difference.”
Thousands of people found out how they can make a difference by recycling at home at the runners village workshops with Recycle for Wales and Love Your Clothes, who performed a live upcycling demo, repurposing some (washed!) t-shirts from March’s half marathon.
Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said:
“When it comes to recycling we are truly leading the way here in Wales with our recycling rates the highest in the whole of the UK.
“Well done to everyone who took part in the Cardiff Half Marathon. I am sure competitors were inspired not only to try and beat their own personal best but also do their bit at home and at work to help keep Wales at the front of the recycling field.”
Run4Wales is continuing to work with Recycle for Wales as part of their commitment to the event’s sustainability, building on the great work done at the World Half Marathon in March. A team of recycling volunteers also helped to collect thousands of plastic bottles at Sunday’s event. There were more recycling bins as well as new and improved signage to direct people to the right place to recycle.
Lee Treadwell, at race organisers Run4Wales said: “We’re committed to improving everyone’s event day experience, and giving runners and spectators the opportunity to recycle and save energy is a key part of that. This year, whilst thousands of runners exerted all their energy on the course, a host of volunteers, dubbed our “environmental champions” made sure water bottles and banana peels found their way into our recycling bins.”
Alongside these improvements, Brecon Carreg also made the size of the water bottles handed out to runners smaller, in order to reduce the amount of waste.
Jenna Bissell at Brecon Carreg said: “This year we listened to the feedback of runners and made our water bottles much smaller. This solution saved energy for runners on their journey around the city, while also wasting less and saving energy.”
Recycle for Wales, a Welsh Government grant-funded campaign, was set up to encourage behaviour change across Wales to reduce the amount of waste produced, and use resources in an efficient way to meet the Welsh Government’s ambitious target of being a zero-waste nation by 2050.
For more information about the Run Refuel Recycle campaign, and to find out how you could win a £115 voucher from Cardiff-based specialist running shop, Run and Become, head to our Run Refuel Recycle page.