Plastic pollution has quickly become one of the most pressing environmental issues. The rapidly increasing production of disposable plastic products is overwhelming the world’s ability to deal with them, with plastic becoming present in every aspect of our lives and about 14 million tons of plastic waste filling our oceans every year.
While plastic bags from grocery shopping or plastic straws from drinks may be the first things to come to mind when we think of what adds to the growing plastic problem, one large contributor actually comes from mass participation events. Running events, for example, typically host multiple hydration stations to provide water in plastic cups to keep runners hydrated. While it makes it convenient for runners to hydrate themselves while on their run, it does not make it any easier for the Earth to decompose the plastic material used to make the cups, leading to an exceptional amount of plastic waste.
To help fight the growing plastic problem, Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas’ Foopak Bio Natura brand has been participating in various runs dedicated to environmentally friendly causes. By providing plastic-free, compostable, and recyclable cups, Foopak Bio Natura has been able to help lessen the impact that these races typically have on the environment.
Most recently in June 2023, Foopak Bio Natura took part in the Income Eco Run (IER), which is a run that raises funds for the education of teachers and students on the importance of environment conservation as part of Income Insurance’s partnership with the Singapore Environmental Council.
In this year’s run, nearly 3,000 runners took part in the environmental race, with Foopak Bio Natura providing 22,000 plastic-free Foopak cups. This was a drastic change from the previous Income Eco Run in 2018 which used up to 45,000 plastic cups for the hydration stations. By making the shift to a more sustainable alternative, Income Eco Run and Foopak Bio Natura were able to save up to 48 kilograms of plastic waste that would have been otherwise produced for the run.
To show his support for the sustainable initiative led by Income Eco Run, Gunawan Wihlianto, the Product Manager at Foopak, took part in the run and got the chance to see other runners enjoying refreshing drinks in Foopak Bio Natura cups during the end of the run.
Reflecting on the run, Gunawan said, “This event provides an excellent platform for us to showcase the sustainable and eco-friendly cups of Foopak Bio Natura, and we are committed to promoting environmental consciousness and supporting initiatives that contribute to a greener future. By participating in Income Eco Run, we aim to engage with like-minded individuals and organizations to raise awareness about the importance of sustainable packaging solutions. Foopak is proud to be a part of this event and looks forward to making a positive impact on both the running community and the environment.”
Besides participating in the Income Eco Run, Foopak Bio Natura also participated in the ELLE Run in Taiwan earlier this year in April. Dedicated to encouraging runners to live more environmentally-friendly lifestyles, ELLE Run 2023 had the theme of “Stylish, Sustainable, Sharing”.In line with the run’s vision, Foopak Bio Natura provided 22,000 Foopak cups for the race in Kaohsiung City and 40,000 Foopak cups in Taipei City.
Steven Huang from APP Taiwan participated in this year’s ELLE Run to join other environmentally-conscious runners, saying “The event really brought together everyone in the community, there were thousands of us running through the roads. I loved that we didn’t generate a ton of plastic waste with our water cups. Having these biodegradable cups handy meant that I was gulping down water completely guilt-free!”