From 1 January 2020, the use of catering equipment during events in Flanders will be heavily regulated. Event organisers will have to find alternatives to single-use cups and catering equipment and replace them with those. Alternatively, they can keep single-use products as long as they can prove that 90% of those is recycled. This threshold will mount to 95% on 1 January 2022. Reusable cups and reusable or biodegradable cutlery, plates and other material are some of the solutions. Since the Royal Belgian Football Association is already participating in LIFE TACKLE project, ProLeague now follows, being conscious of its ecological impact.
The conference saw a lot of existing solutions and service providers presenting their services and approaches – including waste management operators like Suez, beverage producers like AB InBev and Coca-Cola and several reusable cups service providers Wash-IT, Eco-Cup and Goodless. Many key factors which decide what the best solution would be were shared with the audience namely the costs, deposit scheme, success factors and return rate. While some football clubs already have reusable cups schemes up and running, many more clubs are expected to follow.
Apart from Flanders banning single-use cups and other single-use plastics, the city of Brussels already did it on 1 July 2019. With more policy changes like this, all event organisers will need to look at alternatives, including football teams.