Football Footprint

Tomorrow is the FA Cup final in the UK, the soccer showdown between Manchester United and Chelsea at the new Wembley stadium in London. Interestingly the Guardian, rather than discussing the upcoming match, are running a story on the environmental footprint of the fans going to see the game. According to the article, each fan’s footprint will be, ‘nearly 10 times what it would have been if he or she had watched the game at home.’ A study by Cardiff University in 2004 on a similar event found that beer and pies consumed by fans makes up a large amount of that footprint. Andrea Collins was involved in the research, "They are highly processed food and drink products which require a lot of energy to produce." At the match they studied in 2004, fans consumed; 37,624 sausage rolls, pies or pasties
26,965 sandwiches
17,998 hot dogs
12,780 burgers
11,502 packets of crisps
23,909 portions of chips
303,001 pints of lager
66,584 pints of beer
38,906 pints of cider
12,452 bottles of wine,
90,481 shots
63,141 bottles of alcopops


The result was 37 tonnes of glass, 8 tonnes of paper and 11 tonnes of uneaten food, and apparently no effort was made to recycle any of it. However, transport was the largest part of each fan’s footprint, with an average travelling distance of 367 miles, nearly half of which was by car rather than public transport.
Fortunately, efforts are being made by Wembley to reduce the impact of tomorrow’s match, with fans being encouraged not to bring their cars, and 50% of waste being recycled. Unfortunately, I will still have to watch the game. :: The Guardian

Tags: London

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