Twickenham Stadium rolls out ‘self-destructing cups’ to tackle ocean plastic pollution


Twickenham Stadium is debuting one-of-a-kind self-destructing plastic cups to tackle the ocean plastic pollution crisis. This is the first time ever that this ground-breaking technology will be featured at a sporting event at this scale.

Twickenham, the home of England Rugby and the largest dedicated rugby union venue in the world, is teaming up with Lyfecycle, created by British innovators Polymateria, offers a one-of-a-kind solution to prevent ocean plastic pollution through their unique self-destructing plastic technology, built into cups used by fans attending matches at Twickenham in June.

While made for recycling, if the cup escapes into nature, thanks to Lyfecycle technology, it will self-destruct on land within two years leaving no microplastics or toxins behind. What is left is only an earth-friendly wax that becomes a part of the natural cycle of life. The new cups not only are designed to work in harmony with nature but also are free for fans to use, which will offer quicker speed of service.

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 the Gallagher Premiership Final and the England v Barbarians matches on 18-19 June, drinks will be served to over 100,000 fans (over the weekend) in cups featuring Lyfecycle’s self-destructing plastic technology. The “Define Your Legacy” campaign, which will bring fun and engaging competitions for fans to participate in, highlights the importance of connection to marine spaces and to raise awareness about plastic pollution. Fans will be able to scan a QR code to learn more about the steps Twickenham are taking to tackle plastic pollution. 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 small actions we can all take to leave a positive legacy.

As generations of fans and players come together for these showcase events, Lyfecycle and Twickenham are reframing the perception of legacy, with their message that sometimes the best thing to leave behind is nothing at all.

“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 jewelry. On the current path, 450 million more tonnes of plastic will reach our oceans by 2040 so we must act now.” says Niall Dunne, CEO of Polymateria.

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James has been Editor of Stadia since 2018 having worked at print and digital magazines and websites around the world covering everything from lifestyle to sport, technology, motoring, and more. He also edits Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International.

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