Waste Not
Why There Won’t Be Quite So Much Waste from the Big Game This Year

From cups and straws to the over 300 million gallons of beer expected to be drunk in the US this weekend, companies are stepping up with innovative solutions to rein in the fallout from one of our most wasteful celebration days of the year.

Fans can celebrate more sustainably this weekend with Ball’s aluminum cups

Whether you're watching the Big Game at home, at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, or wherever the watch parties take you, Ball Corporation is back to remind football fans of ways they can cheer on their favorite teams sustainably.

The Super Bowl is one of the largest days of the year that folks gather and connect, and that usually demands the convenience of disposable cups. Aluminum cans and bottles, and cups such as the Ball Aluminum Cup™, are the most sustainable option because they can be easily and infinitely recycled.

Ball designed its lightweight aluminum cups to bring a circular beverage cup option to sports and entertainment venues in response to growing consumer preference for more sustainable products. Infinitely recyclable and economically valuable, aluminum is the most sustainable beverage packaging material. 75 percent of the aluminum ever produced is still in use today — and aluminum cans, cups and bottles can be recycled and back on a store shelf within 60 days.

Find Ball Cups across Santa Monica and Los Angeles

Ball is bringing its aluminum cups to southern California and kicking off a series of events and activations this weekend to help fans celebrate sustainably, including the Rams Tailgate Tour and the Chargers Bolts Experience at the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. As the official Infinitely Recyclable Aluminum Packaging Partner of the Los Angeles Rams and a Proud Sustainability Partner of the Los Angeles Chargers, Ball will supply its aluminum cups onsite and activate Team Aluminum, a group of on-site ambassadors who make recycling easy by collecting recyclables using backpacks. In downtown LA, Ball is mixing up a signature cocktail with the Los Angeles Rams and serving them to guests in the aluminum cups at Penthouse56, the Rams Hospitality House.

For the third consecutive year, Ball is also teaming up with Bud Light to bring the Ball Aluminum Cup to fans at SoFi Stadium during the Super Bowl and at the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest. And those watching the game at home can stock up on the aluminum cups at select retailers nationwide.

"Ball is committed to helping venues, teams and fans minimize the significant environmental impact of sports and entertainment by strengthening in-venue recycling and providing innovative and infinitely recyclable aluminum cans, cups and bottles — a sustainable alternative to the millions of plastic cups that are disposed of every year," said Dan Fisher, President and CEO-elect of Ball Corporation. "We're excited to continue advancing these efforts around the Big Game in collaboration with partners that want to make a positive and lasting difference for the environment."

This year, Ball builds on its existing partnership with SoFi Stadium and partnerships with other like-minded sports teams, concessionaires and venues — including Ball Arena in Denver and Emirates Stadium in London — which are founded on a shared vision to advance sustainability in sports and entertainment and bring fans an environmentally friendly way to enjoy their favorite beverages.


WinCup, Green Sports Alliance team up to eliminate plastic waste from sporting events

Image credit: Phade Products/Facebook

Moving from cups to other ubiquitous sources of plastic waste … This NFL season, along with Ball aluminum cups for beer and cocktails, SoFi Stadium rolled out new concession items designed specifically to curb plastic pollutions at the games — specifically, a compostable and biodegradable drinking straw and cocktail stirrer made from PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate), a biopolymer derived from the fermentation of canola oil, called phade® straws.

These switches are extremely important, both due to the mounting plastic pollution crisis and the significant impact the sports industry plays in influencing fans to make sustainable choices (just look at Tide’s ongoing partnership with the NFL to help influence fans to #TurnToCold, and Hellmann’s new ad with Jerod Mayo to raise fans’ awareness of at-home food waste).

WinCup, Inc., producer of the phade straw, has become an official partner of the Green Sports Alliance (GSA) — a nonprofit that convenes stakeholders from around the sporting world to promote healthy, sustainable communities — to support GSA’s mission to use the influence of sports to promote sustainable practices across the globe. The organization’s members include over 300 professional sports leagues, sports-governing bodies, colleges, teams and venues — representing millions of fans.

“Sports have an enormous influence on our culture as millions of fans follow the lead of their favorite teams’ sustainability choices, from energy and water use to drinking straws,” said Roger McClendon, Executive Director of GSA. “That’s why we’re so pleased to partner with WinCup. The company’s commitment to developing innovative, sustainable foodservice products is already making an impact at pro sports venues and events through its phade straws and stirrers; and we look forward to sharing the benefits of compostable and biodegradable products, as alternatives to petroleum plastics, through this partnership.”

While relatively new to the marketplace, phade has already become the sustainable straw of choice for several professional sports venues, teams and events — including SoFi Stadium; the Atlanta Falcons and their home, Mercedes-Benz Stadium; Gillette Stadium in New England; and the 2021 PGA Championship in Kiawah Island, South Carolina.

“The Green Sports Alliance is a tremendously influential organization that engages with both professional and collegiate sports leagues, teams and venues to promote best practices in sustainability,” said Michael Winters, WinCup President and Chief Revenue Officer. “As a result, millions of fans experience the most advanced sustainable practices while cheering on their favorite team and take those ideas back into the community. phade® straws and stirrers are a perfect example of something simple every sports fan can use at home or when dining out and know they are helping to protect the environment. We could not be prouder to be GSA’s partner to create a more sustainable future for sports fans, businesses and consumers across the globe.”


Beer Me: Breweries in New England are putting waste from Super Bowl Sunday to work

Image credit: Elevate/Unsplash

Meanwhile, Super Bowl Sunday is not only one of the biggest food-waste days in the US, it’s one of the days that Americans consume the most beer, both inside and outside of the stadium — approximately 325 million gallons. A lot of that beer ends up as waste that gets dumped down the drain. Vanguard Renewables believes that waste is only waste if you waste it — for Vanguard, leftover beer is just one more organic input stream that the company can recycle to make renewable energy.

“We work with some of New England's top micro-breweries to recycle their waste — like the spent grains and liquids that are produced from the brewing process,” said Vanguard CEO Neil H. Smith. “The demand for beer on this singular weekend is not new; however, with many brewers choosing to be more sustainable, we provide them with the circular solution they need to recycle their waste. Instead of sending waste byproducts to landfills or incinerators, we help them recycle the material by capturing the methane they emit as they break down and turn that into renewable energy.”

The company has been working with small and large breweries across New England to help Vanguard's Farm Powered mission to turn food waste and dairy cow manure into renewable energy.

The waste from Vanguard’s partner breweries is collected and brought to one of its six anaerobic digestion facilities in Massachusetts and Vermont. The waste supplied by brewery partners not only helps to produce renewable natural gas, but the byproducts of the anaerobic digestion process also make high-quality bedding for farm animals and a low-carbon and nearly odorless liquid fertilizer to use on fields. So, go ahead and get your drink on this Sunday — and know that, at least in some parts of the country, what doesn’t get drunk just might be put to powerful use.

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