Multiple instead of single use – less plastic waste in the German Bundesliga

In the past it was common for huge mountains of plastic waste to pile up in the stadiums of the three German soccer leagues every week – caused, for instance, by millions of single-use plastic cups. During the 2017/18 season alone, 11.5 million of these cups were used at first and second Bundesliga matches alone.

The majority of the 56 Bundesliga clubs have now introduced reusable cups. According to the German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA), these are used an average of 10 times and cause less environmental damage than single-use cups. The partnership between the Bavarian Environmental Agency and FC Bayern München and the subsequent switchover to a reusable system alone cut the use of cups by 1.4 million. Ever since the 2018/19 season, a 2-euro deposit has been charged to the Arena Card when a reusable cup is handed out. This deposit is refunded upon the cup’s return. Alternatively, guests can deposit their empty cups at one of several donation boxes in the Allianz Arena. The donations are used by the FC Bayern to support various social projects.

At the beginning of the 2019/20 season, Borussia Dortmund also introduced a large-scale reusable cup system. It’s only on the south stand and in the guest fan area that beverages continue to be sold in single-use cups – by preference and recommendation from the security authorities. Furthermore, plastic straws have been banned from all VIP areas for quite some time now, coffee-to-go comes without a plastic lid and, since August 2018, the popular curry sausage has been served with a wooden, not plastic, fork.

The SC Freiburg had already introduced environmentally friendly reusable cups back in 1996. When beverages are sold in stadiums, safety aspects are just as important as environmental protection. Today, safety-optimized reusable cups are used, as they are lighter than previous models and have rounded edges and a beveled bottom – so that they quickly empty themselves if they are thrown.

Further information:

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Deutscher Olympischer Sportbund
Ressort Breitensport, Sporträume

Otto-Fleck-Schneise 12
D-60528 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Frau Inge Egli

Phone: +49 (0)69 6700 278

Frau Bianca Quardokus

Phone: +49 (0)69 6700 283