Social impact enterprise, War on Single Use Plastic (WOSUP), has appointed former Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos as board chairman.
Martin Salter, WOSUP’s co-founder and CEO, says Marinos’ appointment comes at a pivotal time for the Sydney-based venture following groundbreaking trials of its reusable and infinitely recyclable aluminium cups at major Australian stadiums, and ahead of plans to expand globally.
“There’s no time to waste in the war on single-use plastic, so we are pleased to have secured Andy as chairman, knowing his global influence, reputation and expertise will be invaluable as we help transition the sport and entertainment industry to a plastic-free, zero-carbon future,” said Salter.
“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.
“There’s no question that a shift to reusable and not just recyclable products is vital in the transition from an environmentally questionable linear economy to a circular economy.
“Put simply, prevention 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.”
Sharing WOSUP’s belief that sport has a profound capacity to motivate people en masse to adopt sustainable behavioural change, Marinos says he looked forward to putting 20 years’ experience in business and sports administration to good use – creating a cleaner, greener planet for future generations.
“With the eyes of the sporting world firmly fixed on Australia in the coming decade, I look forward to playing a role in driving positive change by helping WOSUP achieve its mission to embed closed-loop reuse practices and sustainable supply chains where the biggest impact can be made at large-scale venues and events,” explains Marinos.
“I’m also a firm believer that sport has the power to drive change, and my focus will extend beyond Australia as global fans, codes, teams, venues and sponsors seek a values-exchange with brands and partners that drive ethical, sustainable practices.”
As WOSUP expands operations, Salter said Marinos will help pave the way to engage more broadly with senior stakeholders in sports and government, as well as internationally.
His appointment follows the May 2023 addition of Mamamia Media Company’s chief revenue officer, Tony Prentice, to WOSUP’s Board.
“I’m excited to have Andy helping the team deliver our strategy and refine our approach to best fit the commercial needs of sporting codes, alongside our dual focus of enhancing spectator experience,” Salter says.
“WOSUP cups, designed to keep drinks colder for longer, provided a cost-effective solution for venues to ditch single-use plastic, boost sustainability targets and create real-time dialogue with fans thanks to a bespoke technology platform, WOSUP Rewards, delivering information, money-can’t-buy experiences, competitions and offers.
“Doubling as a platform for eco-conscious venues, sponsors and other partners to showcase ESG initiatives, the WOSUP Rewards loyalty program, which is built into cups via customised QR codes, introduces a plug-and-play solutions for a dynamic new sustainability sponsorship category.”
Since March, WOSUP has prevented approximately 34,000 single-use plastic cups ending up in landfill and delivered a total carbon reduction of 102,000kg CO2-e via rollout of its sustainable beverage packaging solution.
Outside Australia, Salter says WOSUP is trademarked as a sustainable brand in the UK, the USA, Europe, Japan, China and New Zealand, with discussions to move into those markets in partnership with venues, sporting organisations and events.
For more on WOSUP, check out PKN’s conversation with co-founders Salter and Karl Page here.