R&A to hand out 5,000 reusable water bottles to spectators at The Open

R&A to hand out 5,000 reusable water bottles to spectators at The Open

Bluewater to provide stainless steel bottles and water refilling stations so the tournament can significantly reduce the amount of single-use plastic it uses

More than 5,000 stainless steel water bottles will be handed out free to spectators at The Open this weekend as tournament organisers attempt to limit the amount of single-use plastic.

The R&A, which is responsible for the organisation of the tournament, has partnered with “drinking water solutions” provider Bluewater to produce the bottles.

Bluewater will also place a number of water refilling stations around the course so that spectators have a place to fill up their new bottles.

As well as handing out a proportion of the bottles for free, the R&A will also make a number available for sale throughout the venue for less than £5. Last year’s Open – the 147th edition of the tournament – achieved a “record-breaking attendance” of 172,000.

All golfers competing in The Open will be given a personalised Players’ Edition bottle with their name laser-engraved on it. A limited number will be made available for sale as special souvenir gifts.

In addition, Life Water aluminium cans – containing British spring water and ready-sealed – will be sold in some areas of the venue. The cans are made from 70% recycled aluminium and are 100% recyclable. Proceeds from can sales will be donated to clean water projects across the globe.

R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said The Open has a “close relationship” with nature and the coastal system.

“We have all learned so much of the destructive impact of plastic in the world’s oceans and we believe we have to take steps to remove all single-use plastic water bottles from The Open in order to encourage fans and players to use alternative and more sustainable materials.”

The R&A has an extensive sustainability programme focused on ‘nature, communities and resources’, with climate change planning, water efficiency and pollution prevention among its priorities.

Anders Jacobson, co-founder and chief executive of Bluewater parent company Blue, added that The Open was demonstrating the “key role world-class sporting organisations can play when it comes to leaving a cleaner planet for future generations”.

Bluewater has also provided water refilling stations and reusable bottles for The Ocean Race and the Cape Town Marathon.

The project is being supported by UN Environment’s Clean Seas campaign, which has been created to generate awareness around the issue of ocean plastics and the damage it is doing to marine life. The campaign has been backed by a number of sports organisation, include the International Olympic Committee, World Sailing and World Rugby. Each supporter of the campaign has pledged to reduce their reliance on single-use plastics within their own operations.

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