Sustainability & reducing plastics use

Written by Ben Tisdall

11 October 2022

How environmentally friendly are you?

We’re doing our best to minimise our environmental impact. and use of single use plastics. Here is what we’re doing currently.

Trees Not Tees
For all the events where we include a t-shirt, we’re now offering the option to plant a tree instead. We’ve partnered with to make this happen.

Swims hats on request
We will continue to supply swim hats for our open water triathlons as brightly coloured hats really help the lifeguards track swimmers in the water. However for pool triathlons we’re now supplying our excellent Silicone swim hats to our novice categories & on request to people who need one. This helps reduce our environmental impact. We know some regular competitors already have far more hats than they could possibly use.

Finishers Medals Now Optional
We know that quite a lot of competitors are not interested in finishers medals. This creates a lot of wastage so from December 2022 finishers medals are optional. Competitors can say no to a medal when they register & we will donate £2 to our chosen charity, the local cancer charity

Avoiding Single Use Plastics
In 2022 we sourced new paper cups designed to be fully recycled back into high grade paper. They look and feel exactly the same as conventional plastic coated, or PLA coated cups – The key difference is that these cups are actually optimised to be recycled back into high grade paper using conventional paper recycling equipment [Paper mills do not need to change or invest in new machinery]. This supports a circular economy where the valuable cup paper fibre can be recycled many times. The new paper cups are easier to recycle than the PLA (Polylastic cups derived from corn starch) that we have used in recent years. We are also looking at going fully cup less on some of our longer events – watch this space.. Our cycling events are already largely cup less.

One race number
We used to supply two race numbers for all our triathlons & duathlons (one for the front & one for the back). However as most people use Race Belts so we now supply one number to reduce wastage. If you don’t want to purchase one of our race belts,  we will hand write one of our blank numbers for you with a marker pen that you can display on your back for the bike leg. Left over race numbers are used as numbers for our monthly Swim Bike Run events which helps keep the cost down to just £5 to take part. Incidentally we have looked into fully recyclable paper race numbers but currently there are none available that are able to stand up to the vagaries of the British weather. So for now we’re sticking with Tyvek, as used by virtually all race organisers. Tyvek, from Dupont is made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) so is at least a fully recyclable plastic.

Rubbish separated into categories
We now have multiple bins at our events to make it easier to separate paper, plastics, cans & compostable waste. Please help us by putting your cans/banana skins/plastics into the correct bins!

Zip Ties & waste
We only use reusable zip ties. We minimise our use of disposable plastic and sort rubbish from our events into the relevant categories for recycling.

Left Over Food
We go to town with the food we provide at our feedstations at our Cycling Events,. And any left over food is taken to the HITS foodbank in nearby Newton Abbot.

Reducing Car use
In Devon where most of our events take place this is easier said than done. However at the Burrator 10K we offer a £5 discount to anyone who commits to walking or cycling to the event. We’ll be looking to add this to other events in the future.

Race Packs
We use A5 manila envelopes for our race packs. Any uncollected packs or envelopes left at our registration desk are reused for future event.


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