Organisers of the Bournemouth Marathon Festival are urged to cut down on single-use plastics after masses of litter was left behind following the races last weekend.
15,000 runners descended on the seafront for the popular two-day marathon festival. Each runner was given bottled water, gel energy pouches and a plastic goodie bag at the end of the race.
Sue Coates, who volunteers with local environmental group Dorset Devils, visited the site the next day to find a sea of litter at the end of the race in Lower Gardens.
She said she found ‘dozens of half-full bottles, discarded plastic bags and wrappers on the ground’.
Wasted opportunities for eco-friendly choices
Mrs Coates believes ‘it was a wasted opportunity to use other sources such as water in cans or paper cups’.
‘I can understand why the bottles were left during the race but the goodie bags were handed out after and there is no excuse’.
Following recent documentaries such as Drowning in Plastic on BBC, there has been a heightened interest in the dangers of plastic pollution.
We all have to take responsibility for our own rubbish
Sue said, “we all have to take responsibility for our own rubbish but at such a big and high profile event, it is ultimately down to the organisers”
Local student, Robyn Peters, took part in the Bournemouth Marathon 2 years ago. She thinks it is the runner’s responsibility to dispose of the rubbish. “They willingly took the bottle from the organisers and it is therefore the runner’s responsibility to dispose of the plastic in an efficient way”.
The event organisers have not yet responded to The Breaker but did respond to Mrs Coates’ email. Their reply mentioned “we are currently investigating ways for 2019 onwards to allow us to use more environmentally friendly methods of distributing water” .