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What You Didn’t Know About Super Bowl LIV: It Did Something Great For Sustainability

What You Didn’t Know About Super Bowl LIV: It Did Something Great For Sustainability

Avery Maloto

For this year’s Super Bowl game, the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs played at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida — and the Chiefs took home a well-earned victory.

But the Chiefs winning for the first time in 50 years wasn’t the only special thing about this year’s Super Bowl. It’s Florida’s 6th time hosting the Super Bowl. And the state wanted to make it a year viewers will remember.

In preparation for the game, Florida decided to add a unique twist to its plans; more specifically, a sustainable twist. At the Super Bowl LIV, the Hard Rock Stadium will be ditching plastic cups. 

Hard Rock Stadium Gives Single-Use Plastic a Time-Out

Surprisingly, the average NFL game sends 80,000 pounds of trash to the landfills. Unfortunately, these numbers can double during the Super Bowl. 

In efforts to reduce this year’s statistics, the Hard Rock Stadium is offering a sustainable alternative to plastic cups. Instead, the stadium will be providing 50,000 recyclable and reusable aluminum cups to attendees. Shockingly, aluminum is the most sustainable beverage packaging material. While infinitely recyclable, 75 percent of all aluminum ever produced is still in circulation.

In addition, all utensils will be produced from compostable materials such as bamboo. Through this swap-out, a majority of the waste produced this Sunday will be recycled, composted, or burned for energy. 

Fortunately, the venue’s efforts do not stop there. Moving into the regular season, the new reusable aluminum cups and sustainable concession packaging will continue to be used. During future football games and other events held at the stadium, all patrons will drink from the reusable cups.

According to Paul Pettas of Centerplate, the stadium’s food and beverage partner, the Hard Rock Stadium’s initiatives have the ability to phase out 99.4 percent of its single-use plastic this year. 

Past Super Bowl Sustainable Initiatives

This is not the first time Super Bowl participants have shown interest in sustainability. 

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Twenty-five years ago, the NFL Environmental Program (or NFL Green Program) launched its first major sustainable initiatives in Atlanta for the Super Bowl XXVIII. During this time, the program implemented recycling bins throughout the Georgia Dome. Their goal was to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills.

In 2018, the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis experienced one of the biggest successes in the league’s sustainable history. During that year’s Super Bowl, they achieved the highest-ever recycling rate in the event’s history. At this time, the venue sent 90 percent of the produced waste to a composter or recycler.

The NFL Continues to Reduce its Environmental Footprint

As history shows, the NFL Environmental Program has tried to implement eco-friendly initiatives. Whether from creating extensive recovery tactics to reduce waste or using green energy to power events, the league continues to reduce its environmental footprint.

However, it is evident that their work does not stop here. While select venues seem to be taking the show with their sustainable efforts, hopefully, all locations will take on the challenge.

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