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Reusable beer cups for boat race spectators in bid to cut river pollution

It is hoped the move will prevent thousands of single-use cups ending up in the Thames during the annual event.

Spectators at the Boat Race will get beer in reusable cups (Positively Putney Business Improvement District/PA)
Spectators at the Boat Race will get beer in reusable cups (Positively Putney Business Improvement District/PA)

Pubs on the Thames will be serving pints in reusable cups for the boat race in a bid to cut plastic pollution in the river, it has been announced.

Some 14,000 reusable cups have been ordered and will be used by eight pubs along the river and on the high street for the sporting event on Sunday April 7.

Spectators of the annual rowing competition between Oxford and Cambridge universities will be able to reuse their cups or return them to the pubs, allowing them to be washed and reused up to 50 times.

The scheme’s organisers, Positively Putney Business Improvement District, hopes it will prevent 50,000 single-use plastic cups ending up in the river or heading for landfill, in one day.

Disposable cups are one of the most commonly found plastic litter items among the 300 tonnes of rubbish recovered from the Thames each year, campaigners say.

Nicola Grant, executive director of Positively Putney Business Improvement District (BID), said: “The annual Boat Race, starting at Putney Bridge, is one of London’s biggest sporting events, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to our riverbanks every year.

“I’m proud that this year we’re teaming up with Putney’s pubs to drastically cut the use of plastics by serving pints in reusable cups.”

Alison Baker, co-founder of In The Drink, which is working to cut single-use plastic on the riverside, said: “We’re on a mission to phase out the use of disposable cups by the riverside, and we’re really pleased Positively Putney BID is helping to make this happen for Boat Race 2019 with the help of its iconic pubs.

“Investing in reusable cups for the Boat Race and beyond, while still keeping the drinks flowing, sets a great example for other riverside organisations to follow this summer.”

PA

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