As one of Cape Town’s most popular road running events, our mission is to bring people together to make communities healthier, happier, stronger and more eco-conscious. While running is one of the most environmentally friendly sports around, an event brings a large amount of people together into a limited space. This comes with unavoidable impacts such as creation of waste which is a major problem in our society.
The Gun Run is constantly looking for more ways to #RunClean and protect the environment. This year we aim to reduce – even further – the amount of waste generated by the event.
By using environmentally responsible products wherever possible, we will reuse what can be reused, and recycle all forms of waste. Our goal? To create a ripple effect into our everyday lives, and encourage those around us – both runners and non-runners – to do the same.
For tips on how you can make running a cleaner sport, check out Modern Athlete’s #runclean programme.
Here are a few ways in which we are improving our waste management practice for Gun Run 2018 and ways in which you can do the same:
We are huge supporters of the #CarryYourOwn initiative and encourage runners to use hydration packs and carry their own water so as to steer away from plastic water sachets altogether.
Water refill tanks
Water refill tanks will be at the 7km and 16km water points so bring your collapsible cup, softshell flask or top up your hydration pack
Throw your sachets in the bin or within the designated ‘Chuck Zones’ en route. Our #bangitinthebin campaign encourage runners to put their sachets in the bin, rather than dump them on the road or in the drains.
Recycling and Refuse
During the race our roving teams of cleaning staff move along the entire route to ensure that litter is contained while clean-up crews also ensure that the route, and every area we use, is left spotless. After the event, all cardboard, plastics and dry waste is sorted, bagged and recycled.
Plog on the Promenade
We encourage runners to pick up litter while they jog (plog) at our weekly Warm-Up Wednesday runs along the Promenade.
Environmentally responsible catering
Our vendors and caterers area making every effort to avoid the use of straws, plastic and polystyrene altogether.
Carpool and cut your carbon footprint
Get your running mates together and carpool. You will not only reduce your carbon footprint but we can guaranteed there'll be more gees in your vehicle!
Cutting out the paper!
By maximizing online marketing, we minimise all printed material, thus saving paper.
We're always busy brainstorming more ideas as to how we can minimise our impact on the planet and maximise our opportunities to benefit the people.
There is an impetus amongst race organisers to find practical alternatives to plastic sachets. We are currently in the stage of researching and testing out alternatives with an aim to reduce or replace plastic sachets with a more environmentally option in the future.
Cups must be lined with wax to withstand holding water for long periods of time. This prevents standard wax cups from being compostable and ultimately not much better than plastic sachets. Certified compostable cups are the next option. Involving a major increase in costs, it’s fundamental that they are properly disposed of. This requires an industrial composting facility to create the correct moisture and temperature levels for decomposition. Feasibility of this option is being further researched in terms of local composting facilities and funding strategies. It is also important to note, cups are harder to clear up as they are more easily lifted by the wind and risk being blown into the ocean and other sensitive natural areas.
Coca-Cola has been looking at ways they can be greener. One way is to use 100% recyclable (non-wax) cups. Often our tables are set up four hours prior to the runners arriving and the (non-wax) cups tend to 'melt' after standing with liquid in them for long periods. We would like our runners to be able to drink from the cups we hand out rather than getting them all over their chests! Even if we could use these they are four times more expensive than the normal cups and are currently not viable from a business perspective.
Biodegradable sachets cannot be manufactured more than two days before the event as they begin to break down. With an order of over 125 000 sachets, manufacturers cannot produce the volume that the Gun Run needs in time. In addition, the glue holding the plastic together is not as strong causing them to leak from the pressure of the sachets next to them. As law mandates provision of water at race events, we cannot risk not having water for our runners by race day!
Be the change you want to see