Tallinn Marathon abandons disposable packaging waste generation

Tallinn Marathon will be the largest sport event in Northern Europe to abandon generation of waste from disposable packagings.

Tallinn Marathon, taking place in Tallinn on September 9 – September 11, is the biggest sports and sport event during which, as a result of employing reusable packaging by Ringo, 100 thousand disposable packaging items will not end up in a garbage can.

Estonia’s largest recreational sports event welcomes more than ten thousand big and small running enthusiasts on Tallinn’s Toompea Hill. The marathon’s Chief Organizer Mati Lilliallik says the organizing team is putting more and more effort into the challenge of conducting sports events with the smallest possible environmental footprint.

“Cooperation with reusable packaging provider Ringo during LHV Maijooks (May Run) in the spring clearly showcased how painlessly the piling up of disposable packaging waste during a major sports event can be prevented. So now it makes no sense anymore to keep discarding packaging items that are used for only a moment at the marathon’s water stops and in the fair area so they may later be burned in the furnace. All sports events in Estonia should be held this way.”

One hundred thousand reusable packaging items are in use at the water stops for all of the distances at Tallinn Marathon as well as at the sports and health fair area on Freedom Square. As this is an event that takes place in a confined space, visitors are not charged a deposit for the cups and tableware. All of such cups and tableware (including knives and forks) must be placed in the yellow Ringo collection boxes after use. At the water stops, used drinking cups must be thrown into the collection boxes next to the track – this worked perfectly during the May Run. Tableware by Ringo is not to be discarded in general waste.

“It seems that participants in large-scale public sports events readily accept the new packaging solution and cups indeed remain intact in water stops as well. Therefore, we’ve also proposed an all-inclusive reusable packaging service to organizers of sports events in other nearby countries and the feedback has been positive,” said Janek Maar, Development Manager with the reusable packaging company Ringo Eco OÜ.

“Ringo’s logic is simple – instead of recycling or disposing of items, the lifespan of any packaging item is extended by washing it and sending it out to be used again,” said Mr. Maar. “Each and every participant in the marathon weekend can make their own significant contribution to preserving the living environment for us all.”

“I am glad that Tallinn’s guidelines for organizing environment friendly events are being tested at Tallinn Marathon and that more attention is being paid to waste reduction. We’ve tested the guidelines at a number of events this summer. As of this fall, we plan to start applying the guidelines at all of Tallinn’s own events and also to make it available to all other event organizers that wish to reduce their events’ environmental footprint,” said Krista Kampus, Executive Director of the Tallinn Green Capital 2023.

Tallinn Marathon abandons disposable packaging waste generation