July 30, 2021

London counts the cost: Euro Final clean-up will cost ‘millions’ as beer bottles and flags litter the streets

Football may be not becoming home, but the rubbish has, with UK councils left counting the cost.  One TikTok user, H0rridhenryz revealed the state London streets were left in following last night’s Euro Final:

@h0rridhenryz

This is not okay #itscominghome

♬ Three Lions ’98 – Baddiel, Skinner & Lightning Seeds

Research by waste collection experts, BusinessWaste.co.uk – which has long campaigned for decreased plastic waste in the UK – reveals that the clean-up bill for Euro Final celebrations will end up costing millions of pounds – with Sunday night adding over 1,000,000 extra empty beer bottles to waste collections.

Local councils are expected to struggle with the excess waste generated by fans, particularly by groups of people using public spaces to celebrate – without being mindful of the costs of cleaning up afterwards.

“It’s understandable that people wanted to have a few drinks,” Mark Hall, Communications Director at BusinessWaste.co.uk, said, “but the cost of cleaning these areas can really stretch waste management budgets and has a real knock-on effect for local authorities.”

Bars and pubs, too, are struggling with the excess waste generated by football fans. Some pubs have reported as much as four times the amount of their usual weekly waste. Not only has this influx of waste place additional pressures not only on the businesses themselves, who will have to manage the excess, but will also place stress on recycling and waste companies across the country as they struggle to deal with increased demand.

Last night alone, England fans discarded:

–      150,000 plastic pint glasses

–     200,000 kebab and takeaway trays

–     100,000 pizza boxes

–      150,000 English flags

–     1,000,000 glass bottles

While many of these items could be safely recycled at home, the environment is often far from revellers’ minds and many have ended up discarded on streets and parks across the country – and some, such as pizza boxes, cannot be recycled at all. Food residue on the cardboard packaging means they won’t be recycled, causing an environmental hangover as masses more waste makes its way to landfill.

Research reveals that the game going to extra time and penalties added an extra £10,000 added to each local council’s street cleaning bill, as anxious fans grabbed a few more drinks and a takeaway to settle their nerves.

Mark Hall concluded:

“As a nation, we were all looking forward to watching England play in the final. However, it won’t just be fans waking up with a hangover today – companies, waste collection teams and local councils will also have a costly environmental hangover to deal with.”