Reducing single-use plastics in football through education and teamwork
“Our values of inclusion, hard work and togetherness are evident in everything we do. We have created an environment where everyone feels part of a large extended Palma family.”
Riccardo Smith, Founder
This year, Unboxed is one of the sponsors of The Palma Foundation’s two-week summer camp for young footballers to train, connect and support each other. It takes talent, commitment, luck and personal sacrifice to make it to the highest levels of football. The Palma Foundation aims to give players the best chance of success but also supports those who don’t make it.
In 2022, we’re asking players to make an extra commitment - to reducing the amount of single-use plastic they buy, use or throw away. These players work incredibly hard. We know that their team work and dedication can inspire other young people to make a stand against plastic pollution.
The plastic problem
In the UK we generate around 15 million single-use plastic bottles every day. Less than half of the everyday plastic we use in the UK is recycled. It’s estimated that around 5.5 billion plastic bottles end up in landfill, incinerators or are left in the environment, every year.
4.8% of the world’s oil production is used to make plastics.
At previous tournaments, we’ve provided players with bottled water. Players get thirsty and they need to keep hydrated between matches. We think that last year’s tournament generated about 1,000 single use plastic water bottles. Some of these might have been half full when they were thrown away.
"We’re not waiting five, 10, 20 years to take the action we want to see. We’re not the future of the world, we’re the present, we’re acting now. We’re not waiting any longer."
Salvador Gómez-Colón, young climate activist
It takes a team to save a planet
This year, we’re giving each player their own Palma Foundation reusable water bottle. We’re asking every player to think about the role they can play in reducing plastic waste.
Dedication and team work are at the heart of the Palma Foundation approach. We’re supporting young people to work towards the future they want.
We're asking the Palma family to:
- get the facts
- show us their bottle
- post a photo with their bottle
- tell us about the change they want to make
Get the facts
According to Government data, each Premier League match can generate up to 750,000 plastic bottles. Several clubs are taking measures to reduce plastic waste, such as installing hydrochill stations where players and fans can fill up, providing canned water for players or purchasing bottles made from recycled materials. A few clubs, including Leeds, Leicester, Everton, Brentford and Newcastle United, give players named, reusable bottles and are committed to no single-use plastic on their training pitches. Leeds provides two bottles to each player - one for water and one for supplements.
A Friends of the Earth/YouGov study in 2019 found that 86% of football fans wanted Premier League clubs to remove single-use plastics from their grounds.
The Palma Foundation
The Palma Foundation was created in 2017 to support young people from many diverse backgrounds, but with a common goal - to be part of a winning team.
Staff have significant experience working in advocacy and advisory roles. All Palma coaches are FA licensed.
Show us your bottle
A bottle is just the start. Use your skills. Use your voice. Reduce, reuse, advocate, educate. Find your space. Together, we can do it. We can end plastic pollution. We’re asking every player to show their commitment to the planet by sharing a photo of their bottle and making a statement about what they think football can do about plastic.