Plastic waste prevention test at sports centre is finished

The test on plastic bottle prevention which lasted at the sports centre “Royal Fitness” for two months from the 1st of 

November through to 31st of December 2013 is finished and the data summarized.

The main purpose of the test was to identify how many PET bottles are consumed and disposed by the sportsmen who visit the sports centre, and what measures could be used to reduce the amount of disposed PET bottles.

In order to identify  visitors’ willingness to change their habit, Liepajas RAS Ltd. in cooperation with “Royal Fitness” did a practical test. A waste bin for plastics and a refillable spring water bottle of a volume of 18.9 litres provided by Venden Ltd. were installed at the sports centre. The spring water was provided free-of-charge and without plastic cups in order to let the visitors reuse their own bottles.

The first observations an data showed that by providing free water and no plastic cups the amount of plastic packaging itself and especially PET bottles decreased gradually week by week.

The gotten data shows that during these two months an average amount of disposed PET bottles decreased from 5.1 bottles per day at the beginning of November to 3.1 bottles at the end of December. Converting into weight it means reduction from ca. 0.18 kg per day to 0.11 kg of plastic per day disposed in the bin, or reduction by 40 %. If in November the weight of the plastic bottles constituted of 5.38 kg, then in December there were 3.52 kg of plastic bottles collected. It is reduction by 1.86 kg comparing the two months (in CO2 equivalent it is reduction by 3.7 kg).

The representative of the sports centre Aigars Laugalis observed and mentioned, that the first two weeks of the test was a period when the sportsmen were gradually gotten used having such a service. It is worth to mention that the visitors ave actively started to use their own refillable sports bottles.

Although the needed amount of plastic material is required more in production of a sports bottle (comparing to a regular PET bottle), they have smaller impact on environment comparing to the PET bottles which are not always reused. The relatively high price of a sports bottle also stipulate its owner to use it every time he or she visits sports centre and refill it with water or other types of drinks and thus refusing of buying regular bottled water.

The second purpose of this test was to observe and calculate how much the free-of-charge water had been consumed. Here we can say that the sportsmen approved it positively. There were consumed 945 litres of water of 16 litres per day during the test period.

The representatives of Liepajas RAS Ltd.surveying the content of collected plastic bottles identified that a part of plastic bottles were not flattened. It is important to remind that PET bottles should be flattened before disposing it into a bin thus saving space in the bin and preventing its fullfilment in a short time.

It is worth to mention that sports centre “Royal Fitness” payed attention also previously to a environment-friendness by stimulating the visitors to sort plastic bottles in a separate bin with a sign to sort them.

Client manager of Venden Ltd. Eva Kļava says big thanks to Liepajas RAS for such opportunity to cooperate: “I agree that test is eco-friendly. During the test period we provided visitors with a spring water. As we know water, especially , natural water is an important component for daily nourishment  and during sports activities. Royal Fitness Ltd. have decided to continue cooperation with Venden Ltd. who’s provided low-level carbonated water will be free-of-charge and unlimited for sportsmen.”

Aigars Laugalis concludes that Liepajas RAS by involving Royal Fitness in a such test has built a good base to promote eco-friendly business activities also in future:”To say, in the past we were more like amateurs but since the start of this test with the help of environmental experts we have been developing and promoting our business activity in a eco-friendly way. Royal Fitness are thankful for opportunity to cooperation in such test and are looking forward in further involvements  in other projects with partners also in other fields in order to add at least some value to the society.”

Representatives of Liepajas RAS ltd. emphasize that even the smallest possibility to prevent the waste  production is a step towards sustainability and environment conservancy. Waste prevention and reduction are with the lowest cost of economical and environmental life cycle. It does not require waste collection and recycling.

The test “Single-use beverage packaging/PET waste prevention at fitness/sports centre” was performed and managed in cooperation with the sports centre “Royal Fitness” in the framework of Life + project “Plastic Zero”.

Article prepared by:

M. Dubrovskis – Liepajas RAS assistant manager for project “Plastic Zero”

Z. Siksna – Liepajas RAS environmental management specialist