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Twickenham tackles plastic pollution with ‘self-destructing’ cups

Twickenham Stadium is introducing self-destructing plastic cups this month as part of a campaign to tackle the ocean plastic pollution crisis.

Twickenham will debut its ‘Define Your Legacy’ campaign this month and is partnering with Lyfecycle, which offers a one-of-a-kind solution to prevent ocean plastic pollution through its self-destructing plastic technology.

The technology will be built into cups used by fans attending matches at Twickenham this weekend, with the stadium hosting the Premiership final on Saturday before staging England vs Barbarians on Sunday.

The Lyfecycle cups have been made for recycling, but if they escape into nature they will self-destruct on land within two years, leaving no microplastics or toxins behind. The cups, which will be free for fans to use, will only leave behind an earth-friendly wax once they self-destruct.

Nils Braude, managing director of Twickenham Experience, said: “In the upcoming matches, which take place over Father’s Day weekend, we are reminded that we have a responsibility to build a more sustainable future for the next generation.

“Working with Lyfecycle enables rugby fans to enjoy the game with their families, and feel good knowing that with every cup, they’re taking an actionable step towards solving one of the biggest environmental problems of our time.”

During this weekend’s matches, drinks will be served to over 100,000 fans in cups featuring Lyfecycle’s self-destructing plastic technology. The ‘Define Your Legacy’ campaign will also include competition for fans to participate in, while supporters will be able to scan a QR code to learn more about the steps Twickenham is taking to tackle plastic pollution.

In addition, educational videos will be played at all sales points and designated bins will be placed around the stadium to promote responsible disposal. After the match, the cups will be recycled through partnerships with major recyclers and community partners to create limited-edition giveaways to further spread the message about recycling.

Lyfecycle cups are created by Polymateria, whose chief executive Niall Dunne said: “Polymateria’s mission is to stop plastic on land before it reaches the oceans. Through visionary partners like Twickenham, our Lyfecycle time-controlled self-destructing cups show how recycling and biodegradation can work together, something previously not thought possible.

“To prove this, we’ll recycle cups used at Twickenham matches throughout the year and turn them into legacy items like benches and unique jewellery. On the current path, 450 million more tonnes of plastic will reach our oceans by 2040 so we must act now.”

Image: Twickenham