1 March 2024

Sustainability top of the menu at World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24

Sustainability top of the menu at World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24

With sustainability high on the agenda at the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24, an environmentally focused process has been designed to manage meal tokens for staff and volunteers at the event venue in the city.

Working with Glasgow charity Rags to Riches, organisers have piloted a unique new scheme system that is seeing unused DVD cases turned into tokens to be exchanged for lunch and dinner throughout the championships.

With meal redemption tokens usually discarded after an event of this size, organisers were keen to find a solution that would result in a sustainable approach being adopted to preserve materials and prevent unnecessary wastage.

After approaching Rags to Riches with the idea for a sustainable solution, event caterers were delighted to be able to work with the organisation to create a series of colourful plastic tokens, designed in the event’s brand colours with the iconic thistle emblem emblazoned on the front.

Using a laser cutter, the charity turned over 100 DVD cases into over 1800 meal redemption tokens, avoiding excess plastic wastage and creating a sustainable process which is new to an event of this size.

Upon the completion of the championships, the tokens will also be returned to the charity for use in other projects, with any excess plastic from the original process also recycled into new designs.

The championships aim to set a benchmark for international events by putting in place best practices on sustainability to minimise environmental impact. As part of this strategy, a Meat-free Friday offer is being provided on the opening day, with hospitality and workforce menus made up entirely of vegetarian and vegan options for the morning and afternoon sessions.

All hot meals prepared for VIP ticket holders, technical officials, workers, and suppliers will be meat-free on Friday 1 March, while the soup laid on for the majority of volunteers, staff and officials will also be vegetarian throughout the course of the event (1-3 March). In addition, more than half (60%) of the sandwiches on offer to WICGlasgow24 workforce and volunteers will be vegetarian.

Lauren Hooper, Govanhill Baths Community Trust - Rags to Riches Manager, said: “I was thrilled when organisers of the World Athletics Indoor Championships approached us with the request to produce meal redemption tokens from recycled plastics.

“We were able to laser cut the tokens from donated DVD cases that would otherwise be wasted, a process which uses less energy, rather than chipping and moulding the recycled plastics.

“This project is a great example of an organisation thinking ahead, to ultimately reduce the strain on the earth's resources.”

Billy Garrett, Director of Tourism, Culture and Events at Glasgow Life and joint Chair of the Local Organising Committee, said: “Sustainability is a central part of our social impact strategy for the World Athletics Indoor Championships, and we were delighted to be able to team up with Rags to Riches to create a new type of meal redemption system that is both sustainable and practical for our workforce.

“Our overall goal for the championships is to be both successful and sustainable, and a big part of achieving this goal is by looking for new ways to be innovative in our planning and delivery.

“Whilst meal redemption tokens and Meat-free Friday are only a small part of this, it’s important that we assess all possible areas to see if there’s a scope to change to a more sustainable method, as every small change we make marks another step towards a more sustainable future for major events.

“I hope these ideas will be replicated in the future, and who knows, maybe our tokens will still be in use the next time Glasgow hosts a major sporting event!”