SZW at the Greenest IPL Yet

Virat Kohli on Green Day Match at Chinnaswamy


Sustainable Events: How We Pulled off the Greenest IPL Yet

Indian Premier League is a professional twenty-twenty cricket league in India, founded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in 2008. The league takes place annually, in the months of April and May. It consists of eight teams, each representing a major city or state in India, and it the most-attended cricket league in the world. 

For the 12th season of IPL, in 2019, Saahas Zero Waste partnered with Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB), Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA), and DNA Networks to execute the IPL as a Zero Waste event

SZW at IPL 2019

This IPL season, RCB played seven matches at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. Every match had an average audience size of 25,000 spectators. At every match, our team managed the waste generated, raised awareness through engagement activities, and set up a number of sustainable initiatives aimed at reducing, reusing, segregating, and recycling waste

The challenge:

There were a number of challenges posed by an event of this scale. First was the immense amounts of waste produced during the matches, consisting mainly of excessive amounts of uneaten food, and thousands of signboards and flags. This was exacerbated by poor standards of segregation and low levels of awareness about waste and its management among most of the spectators.  

Our strategy: 

Colour coded bins with appropriate signage were placed at different locations across the venue. Our 40 member team split up to man each of the bins at the stadium, and, while ensuring the correct segregation of waste, they also engaged with spectators to spread awareness on issues of waste and sustainability. 

Colour coded bins & segregation signage that were placed across the stadium

Bin liners were replaced with greener alternatives, with recycled flex banners being used to collect wet waste and HDPE bags being used for dry waste. Wet waste bags were cleaned after every match and reused for the next match, thereby using 300 less bags. RCB flags were collected and sent to an NGO to make bags, which were then freely distributed to hawkers around the stadium to reduce their usage of plastic bags. Unserved food from the stalls were distributed in slum areas in the city.

Sustainable waste management messages being flashed across the screens at Chinnaswamy
Sustainable messages being flashed across the screens at Chinnaswamy

All the wet waste collected from the matches was sent to an authorised biogas plant, where the gas generated is used either for cooking or to power vehicles. The dry waste was sent to our Material Recovery Facility where it was processed and dispatched to authorised recyclers. 

Our impact: 

Waste Streams:Quantity of Waste Generated 
Food waste 7,598 kg
Dry waste 34,025 kg 
Garden Waste 1,740 kg
Non-recoverable waste 4,711 kg (9.8% of total waste)
Total Waste Managed: 48,074 kg 

A total of 48,074 kgs of waste was generated at the IPL matches that took place in Bengaluru. Due to all our efforts, non-recoverable waste was reduced to less than 10% of the total waste generated at the event, resulting in 39,000 kgs of waste being diverted from landfills. 86 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions were averted, which is equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide sequestered by 1422 trees over 10 years. 

Our field staff were provided with protective equipment, food, and transportation, and were compensated for overtime as per the labour laws. 

Saahas Zero Waste Field Team
SZW Field Team
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