Recycle Week 2023 (16-22 October) is the perfect opportunity to make sure that sport in Wales is doing its bit.
We know that sport has an impact on the environment but there are ways in which we can reduce our waste. Recycling old sports kit is a great way to start lessening our impact on the planet.
Why recycle old sport kit?
- It’s good for the environment. Making things like sports kit, shin guards and golf shoes requires energy and materials. Using energy often means burning coal, oil or gas which causes climate change. And, when we’ve outgrown kit or it’s not needed anymore, it’s often thrown away which contributes to the landfill problem.
- When we pass old kit on to someone else, it means that others can play sport without it costing the earth (literally). Donating it to someone else or even selling on at a reduced cost, helps to remove sport’s financial barriers.
- And that means that recycling kit can help get more people playing and loving sport - in Wales but also overseas in poorer nations. It’s a win-win all round.
How can I recycle my old sports kit?
There are lots of schemes which recycle old sports kit in Wales. They include:
- Play It Again Sport - takes all usable sports equipment and clothing. They have a number of donation bins at leisure centres and here at the Sport Wales National Centre in Cardiff. It’s sold at a fraction of the cost and the money that is raised is ploughed into local sporting projects.
- Lord’s Taverners – you can donate kit to your nearest collection hub and know that it will be redistributed across the UK and around the world to worthy projects.
- SOS Kit Aid – collects kit from rugby and football clubs and it’s sent overseas to encourage more people to take part in sport.
- The Community Kit Room - take your old sports kit to a hub location in Blaenau Gwent to be reused within the community. Aneurin Leisure Trust are working in partnership with StreetGames Wales to ensure that having the appropriate kit isn’t a barrier to participation.
- There are also lots of projects around Wales where you can donate old boots and trainers like the Newport Boot Room and Wrexham AFC Community Trust. The Swansea City Boot Room has been so successful, it’s also set up The Kit Room. So, take a look to find projects near you.
And of course, you can simply pass on kit and equipment to people you know or sell on sites like Vinted or Facebook Marketplace. There are also lots of reuse and repair shops across Wales.
Narberth RFC is a great example of a club that recycles kit and equipment.
Narberth RFC teamed up with SOS Kit Aid last year and handed across old kit and equipment including rugby balls. And Narberth has been rummaging in its stores again and is set to make another donation shortly.
Rob Lewis, Chair of Narberth RFC, says:
“We do it because it’s good to help out any clubs and countries that don’t have kit. If it gets to kids in those countries, and they start playing rugby, then it expands the game. And rather than being chucked away, it’s put to good use. There are lots of kids who can’t afford to buy kit so we feel we are doing a good job.”
Wales already boasts some impressive recycling statistics. Wales is first in the UK, second in Europe and third in the world when it comes to recycling. But by 2050, the aim is that Wales becomes a Circular Economy. This means that everything will be re-used, repaired or recycled.
We would love to hear about your club’s recycling efforts. Get in touch with us today!