Hard Rock Stadium to phase out single-use plastics

Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins NFL American football team, is stepping up its efforts to eliminate single-use plastics ahead of next year’s Super Bowl.

In an interview with Forbes, Tom Garfinkel, vice-chairman, president and chief executive of the Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium, discussed the team’s efforts to tackle plastic consumption.

In August, Garfinkel formed an internal committee to study how single-use plastics can be phased out and how the Dolphins can improve recycling efforts after watching a 60 Minutes documentary on how plastic is polluting the ocean. Garfinkel later announced that Hard Rock Stadium has committed to phasing out 99.4 per cent of single-use plastics by 2020, including for Super Bowl LIV on February 2.

Garfinkel told Forbes: “If we do something at the stadium and can set an example, what kind of larger impact can that have? I’m fortunate enough to be in a leadership position and I have a responsibility to lead, and I’m fortunate to have an owner (Stephen Ross) who is passionate about climate change and these initiatives.”

According to Garfinkel, Hard Rock Stadium uses approximately 678,000 plastic bottles and 525,000 plastic cups each year.

The Dolphins have also announced that Hard Rock Stadium will become the first NFL venue to feature 20-ounce sustainable aluminium courtesy of Ball Corporation for the game against the Cincinnati Bengals on December 22. Forbes notes that stadium staff have also been given reusable water bottles.

Forbes said that souvenir soda cups and ice cream sold in collectable helmets will be the only fan-facing plastic used at Hard Rock Stadium.

Kevin Mitchell, vice-president of Centerplate, Hard Rock Stadium’s food and beverages partner, added: “We are always trying to be ahead of the curve when it comes to providing innovative solutions for our clients and guests. This is another example of an innovative and practical enhancement that will help us reduce our carbon footprint.”

Hard Rock Stadium primarily serves as the home of the Dolphins but also hosts concerts and the Miami Open tennis tournament. There are also plans for a Formula One grand prix to be staged next to the stadium in the future, although this project was dealt a fresh blow last month.

Image: Miami Dolphins