Next month’s Open Championship at Royal Portrush will become one of the first major global sporting events to remove single-use plastic water bottles from sale.
The Open Water initiative has been developed with Bluewater, a leading global innovator in drinking water solutions, to deliver a pioneering new approach to supplying drinking water at a major event by using water refilling stations and reusable stainless steel bottles to deliver fresh water directly to fans, players, staff and officials at The Open.
The project is supported by UN Environment’s Clean Seas campaign and aims to raise awareness of the issue of global marine plastic pollution and the need to protect the world’s oceans and coastlines, including the marine life that inhabits them.
Daniel Cooney, Communication Deputy Director from UN Environment said: “Sport offers a unique opportunity to engage with a global audience on environmental issues. We commend this initiative to tackle marine plastic pollution. The Open offers a powerful platform to influence how people think about drinking water and its associated impact on the natural environment.”
More than 5,000 special edition reusable BPA-free stainless steel Bluewater water bottles will be given to fans free of charge at The Open and they will also be on sale throughout the venue for a special promotional price of less than £5. Fans will be welcome to bring their own refillable water bottles to use at the championship.
All golfers playing in The Open will be given a personalised Players’ Edition stainless steel Bluewater water bottle with their name laser-engraved on it. A limited number of the Players’ Edition bottles will be made available for sale in The Open Shop and at The Open Camping Village for fans wishing to purchase a special souvenir gift.
Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, said: “The Open has a close relationship with nature and the coastal system of the world’s finest links courses and it is important that we safeguard them for future generations. 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.”
Anders Jacobson, co-founder and CEO of Blue, the investment company which owns Stockholm-based Bluewater, said: “We are honoured and delighted to be collaborating with the R&A on The Open Water project, which sends out a purposeful message of the key role world class sporting organisations can play when it comes to leaving a cleaner planet for future generations. Bluewater technology offers solutions enabling water to be purified and dispensed locally at point of consumption, thereby eliminating the need for single-use plastic bottles and their polluting transportation.”
Life Water aluminium cans will also be used as ready-sealed containers to provide water in some areas at Royal Portrush. The Life Water zero plastic cans are filled with natural British spring water, are made from 70% recycled aluminium, are 100% recyclable and BPA-free. Every can also helps to fund clean water projects across the globe.
Photo caption: (L-R) Anders Jacobson, CEO of Blue; Tom Watson, global ambassador for The Open, and Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, launch The Open Water initiative at Portrush.