O’Neills Walled City Marathon leads the way on reducing plastic waste

The Mayor of Derry and Strabane Michaela Boyle, has welcomed an eco-friendly initiative aimed at reducing plastic waste at major sporting events which will be piloted during the O’Neills Walled City Marathon this weekend.

Wednesday, 29th May 2019, 2:24 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th May 2019, 3:24 pm
Orla Ward, Development Manager, O'Neills, Noel McMonagle, Race Director, local runners Tommy McCallion and Tommy Hughes, Scott Galbraith, Event Director, and Caroline Casey, O'Neills store manager, Derry.

Two of the eight water stations on this year’s 26.2 mile course will be moving to compostable cups and, runners will also be offered cups at the finish as an alternative to plastic bottles.

Councillor Boyle praised the initiative whereby Council will provide the compostable cups to help significantly reduce plastic bottle usage during this year’s marathon which takes place on Sunday, June 2.

Councillor Boyle said: “I am delighted that Derry City and Strabane District Council and the O’Neills Walled City Marathon are working in partnership to offer an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic bottles and cups as part of this year’s event.

“We are all increasingly aware that there is a critical need to help our planet by reducing plastic waste and the shocking impact that plastic pollution is having on ocean and marine wildlife in particular. It is very encouraging that the Derry marathon is taking the lead in moving away from single use plastic and I wholeheartedly echo their message for runners and spectators to do likewise.”

Scott Galbraith, Event Director of the O’Neills Walled City Marathon, said they were also pleased to be working with Council and sponsors to offer eco-friendly substitutes at this year’s event which will see hundreds of runners and spectators out in force in the city on Sunday.

He added: “As part of our mission to reduce our environmental impact, we are also moving away from single use plastic for the runners’ bag drop, to reusable duffle bags. And, we will be encouraging runners to help themselves to snacks available on tables at the finish, rather than as pre-packed goody bags.

“We wish to thank all of our sponsors, including local company Rocwell Natural Mineral Water, our official water sponsors, for their generous support. Again, we would encourage runners to help us by squeezing out the remnants of any bottles of water they use and dispose of all bottles and wrappers in the correct bins provided.

“We realise that we can’t achieve everything in one year, but the innovative changes and trials we’re introducing this year have the potential to change how our events are delivered in future and everyone can help make a difference to minimise our impact on the environment.”

Brian Quinn, Director of Rocwell Natural Mineral Water, said: “We are delighted to be associated with this year’s Walled City Marathon as the official water sponsors and are looking forward not only to keeping all of the runners fully hydrated during the race but also welcoming them across the finish line in Guildhall Square.”

Around 1,000 runners have registered to take part in this year’s O’Neills Walled City Marathon on Sunday, 2nd June 2019, starting from the Everglades Hotel on Victoria Road at 8.30am.

For more information visit www.thewalledcitymarathon.com and Facebook @thederrymarathon