Rowing and Single Use Plastics

Rio Beach with plastic rubbish

British Rowing has written a response to the Blue Planet documentary about extensive plastics use by rowers.

As rowers, we use plastics in a variety of ways from the water bottle tucked into the back of our lycra, to the packs of pasta we hungrily consume after a long outing. Unfortunately, if not managed carefully, these materials can harm the environment.

This was particularly highlighted prior to the Rio Olympics when water quality in the regatta lagoon was reported in the media.

Rio Beach with plastic rubbish
Rio Beach with plastic rubbish

Take action for yourself, your club, your regatta

The British Rowing Article written by Sarahjane Widdowson is a member of Putney Town Rowing Club, a trustee for WasteAid UK recommends the following:

What can we do as individuals?

  • Use a refillable bottle instead of buying single-use plastic bottles.
  • Try to cut down on the amount of single-use plastic you buy for your post-outing refuel. Bring food from home and cook together as a squad or club.
  • Smelly kit? Invest in a dry bag instead of using multiple single-use plastic bags. [Rowperfect sells WiggleFish dry bags]

What can our rowing clubs do?

  • Think about what you buy for use in the club. Can you use metal cutlery instead of plastic?
  • Make sure you have recycling facilities on site and have a regular litter pick.

Races and regattas

  • Provide recycling facilities on site that are clearly signed and access to water for participants to refill their bottles.
  • Why not include a pledge as part of the entry form? Request that visiting crews recycle and don’t leave any litter.

What will you do?  Let us know in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Rowing and Single Use Plastics

  1. graham cawood says:

    My last 6 years of daily 8 ks in my single were spent collecting rubbish off the water, sighted ahead using a mirror. A bottle rated 1 point, and a bag 1/2 a point, in the count of daily collection. My single- made by me – had an open cockpit, so it could hold lots of rubbish. When I stopped sculling 3 years ago I had collected 17000+ points.
    2 years ago I had 5* bypass surgery, and have since done 30 minute erg sessions daily. Also walk about 5 ks each evening – collecting plastic rubbish dumped roadside.
    Have fun.

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