The Brussels Airport Marathon & Half Marathon, which will be held on Sunday 6th October this year, are pulling out all the stops to become even more environmentally friendly events. The event organisers have introduced numerous measures for participants and supporters to halve the total amount of waste.
"We want to take our responsibility together with our runners and partners and aim for a serious reduction of waste", says Greg Broekmans of Golazo sports. "We will not just limit ourselves to banning single-use plastic cups at the catering outlets, but we will also take plenty of measures for the course. And we will continue to take extra steps year after year."
Here is a list of concrete measures:
1. No bottled water at water stations anymore
Water company Vivaqua is providing its installation for water distribution in Brussels to supply the runners with drinking water at the water stations. So, there will be no need to bring in plastic water bottles.
2. Use of reusable cups and bottles will be actively encouraged
The organisation is providing plenty of free water stations on the event site. Additionally, participants can refill their own cups and bottles along the course. This will be actively encouraged. For instance, the organisation is limiting the number of cardboard cups.
3. No plastic cups
The cups that are provided at the water stations are made from recyclable cardboard.
4. Separating waste
Plastic goes with plastic, paper goes with paper, ... we will provide separate waste containers in the Parc du Cinquantenaire.
5. No plastic or goodie bags
Many marathons organisers offer their participants a plastic bag to keep their belongings in during the race. In Brussels, the participants will just hand in their sports bag to storage. Furthermore, no goodie bags will be handed out.
6. Plastic bottles are collected separately
They will be collected and processed into new consumer articles.
7. Volvo Cars Belgium will clear the waste whilst plogging
The CEO and employees of Volvo Cars Belgium will pick up litter together with their ambassadors whilst plogging the mini-marathon. This means that they will pick up the waste and plastic on and around the course whilst jogging.
8. No plastic at the catering outlets
In the big catering village at the start and finish lines no plastic cups, plates or forks will be used. Beers will be served in glasses. Food will be wrapped in paper or cardboard.
9. No aluminium foil for everybody
This will be the first year that the traditional aluminium foil blankets provided to keep participants that cross the finish line warm will be banned. The sports bags of the participants will be stored right by the finish, which means participants will not need the blankets and will be able to put on their own clothes quickly.
10. Accessibility on public transport
The start and finish are situated in the Parc du Cinquantenaire and are therefore perfectly accessible by public transport (train & metro). The organisation is actively inviting participants to take public transport. There is also a plan for supporters to follow the marathon runners by taking the metro.
The organisation is expecting to reduce the amount of waste by at least 50% through these measures.
On Sunday 6th October, over 10,000 participants from more than 60 different countries will appear at the start of the Brussels Airport Marathon & Half Marathon.