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12th Apr 2021

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Recycling at the FIFA World Cup in Russia

  • Since 2015, recycling was fully incorporated into the operations of the FIFA World Cup preliminary draw in Saint Petersburg. (Photo: FIFA)

With this year's FIFA World Cup™ in Russia fast approaching, the impact of major sports events on society and the environment is again an important topic in the public discourse.

Staging the FIFA World Cup – the biggest single-sport event in the world – involves a broad range of activities, including major investment in stadiums and infrastructure, transporting millions of people to and from matches and 'Fan Fests', recruiting and training thousands of volunteers, providing an event that is accessible for everyone, servicing the 32 participating teams and world media and, of course, dealing with the waste generated.

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  • At last year's FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia, 87.9 tonnes of glass, PET, aluminium, paper and cardboard were separated and recycled. (Photo: FIFA)

To ensure that the planning and delivery of the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ lessens the negative and enhances the positive impact of the event on people, the economy and the environment, FIFA and the Russian Local Organising Committee (LOC) have developed a comprehensive Sustainability Strategy.

The priorities for this strategy are based on experiences from past FIFA World Cups as well as international standards, and have been reviewed by key stakeholders, including representatives of NGOs, UN agencies, commercial affiliates, host cities, regions and various government agencies.

Part of the Sustainability Strategy is the development of a waste management concept with a set of approaches, requirements and plans for organising tailor-made waste collection and recycling processes at all official sites and events – along with the communication tools to inform and motivate spectators to dispose of their waste accordingly.

Already in July 2015, recycling was fully incorporated into the operations of the preliminary draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ in St Petersburg. Across the various venues for the draw, recyclable waste was collected, including paper, cardboard, cans, PET and glass.

In addition, more than three tonnes of decorations were reused for civic events, and 200 children attended a lecture encouraging the younger generation to take a responsible attitude towards nature and the environment.

At last year's FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia, the same approach to segregating recyclable material from general waste was successfully applied: 87.9 tonnes of glass, PET, aluminium, paper and cardboard were separated and recycled.

"Waste accumulation affects the environment negatively, polluting soil, water and air. As for past FIFA World Cups, our aim is to mitigate any adverse impact created by our tournaments. The concept that we are implementing together with the LOC is adapted to local circumstances and will help us achieve a more sustainable FIFA World Cup in Russia," said Federico Addiechi, FIFA's head of sustainability & diversity.

Author bio

FIFA is the international governing body of football.

Disclaimer

This article is sponsored by a third party. All opinions in this article reflect the views of the author and not of EUobserver.

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