• (l-r) WOSUP co-founder Karl Page, Giants’ stars Harry Himmelberg and Chloe Dalton, WOSUP co-founder/CEO Martin Salter.
    (l-r) WOSUP co-founder Karl Page, Giants’ stars Harry Himmelberg and Chloe Dalton, WOSUP co-founder/CEO Martin Salter.

AFL and AFLW’s Giants have sounded the final siren on the use of disposable draught beer plastic cups at home games in a historic deal with social impact enterprise, War on Single Use Plastic (WOSUP).

Kicking off in 2024, the Australia-first sustainability partnership sets a new standard across large-scale sport and entertainment events, which aims to eliminate the negative knock-on of plastic pollution.

Martin Salter, co-founder and CEO of WOSUP, applauded the Giants for taking the lead as the first AFL/AFLW club to replace environmentally harmful single-use plastic draught beer cups with reusable and infinitely recyclable and reusable WOSUP aluminium cups.

He said the partnership – covering all draught beers in the general areas, served at home games at Engie Stadium, Sydney Showground, alongside release of official Giants merchandise cups – will divert approximately 27,000 single-use plastic cups from landfill across the 2024 season, and deliver a total carbon reduction of 81,000kg CO2-e.

“There’s no question plastic pollution is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing our planet,” Salter said, adding large-scale venues and events are among the world’s biggest contributors to single-use plastic cup waste.

“In Australia alone, a line-up of 65 stadiums and 43 arenas churn through an estimated 40 to 50 million disposable cups each year.

“Of concern, only nine per cent of all plastic ever made has been recycled, while 75 per cent of all aluminium produced remains in use, making it the most sustainable metal in the world and a key circular economy building block.”

Alex Stanley, executive general manager – Commercial for Giants, was equally pleased with the new partnership.

“This partnership aligns perfectly with our commitment to sustainability and reducing our environmental impact, and we’re excited to make a positive impact together,” Stanley said.

“Removing single-use plastic from our home games will make a difference and we are extremely proud to be leading the way as the first AFL club to switch to reusable alternatives.

“WOSUP does a fantastic job in promoting reusable alternatives and we look forward to playing our part in continuing to support recycling and sustainability over plastic.”

According to Salter, WOSUP was in discussions with other AFL/AFLW clubs and their venues and hoped the Giants’ endorsement would lead to an expedited transition away from all single-use plastic cups.

“It’s exciting that six months after WOSUP’s initial public offering and commitment to shareholders, that we’re delivering a historic sustainability partnership that leads the way in the future of sport and entertainment sponsorship,” he said.

“Our mission is to reduce global use of 50 million single-use plastic cups a year by 2030 and help sport and entertainment sectors, in Australia and globally, become carbon neutral by 2050 or earlier.

“Put simply, prevention – stopping plastic production at its source – is the best cure for pollution that’s choking our planet, with at least 11 million tonnes of plastic ending up in the world’s oceans every year, adding up to a year-on-year accumulation of 162 million tonnes.”

WOSUP’s lightweight aluminium cups are purposely designed to be used again and again (hygienically washed and returned to venues for reuse), providing a cost-effective solution to ditch single-use plastic, boost sustainability targets, and create real-time dialogue with fans thanks to a bespoke technology platform, WOSUP Rewards.

Doubling as platform for eco-conscious venues, sponsors and other partners to showcase environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives, the loyalty program (built into cups via customised QR codes) introduces a plug-and-play solution for a dynamic new ‘Sustainability Sponsorship’ category, with plans underway to develop an environmental portal that tracks cup usage and eco impact at events.

WOSUP now extends its rights ownership to include the first AFL team at Engie Stadium, and is working with national brands to offer sponsorship of this exclusive audience through cup branding, the WOSUP Rewards tech platform, and in venue signage.

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