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Australia's largest ever marathon cuts the rubbish

November 8, 2019

Australia’s largest ever marathon saw over 37,000 people take to the streets of Melbourne on Sunday 13 October – and for the first time, a new initiative meant cups from the event could be recycled.

As the official sustainability partner of the event, Detpak supplied RecycleMe™ paper cups for all race participant’s drinks. RecycleMe™ is Detpak’s revolutionary takeaway cup with a next generation lining and a dedicated collection network.

The RecycleMe™ System, endorsed by Planet Ark, has enabled the cups collected from this year’s running course to be recycled, allowing the valuable paper fibres to live again.

Like a marathon – there is a lot of work involved in developing a truly sustainable solution for takeaway cups, which is why Detpak spent more than three years investigating new linings to use in its recyclable cups.

“We were looking for a long-term solution for takeaway coffee cups and the RecycleMe™ program is one step closer to contributing to global environmental change,” says Detpak General Manager of Marketing and Innovation, Tom Lunn.

Image of a volunteer at the Melbourne Marathon handing out RecycleMe cups

In a bid to continually improve the environmental impact of the Melbourne Marathon, organisers approached Detpak to assist with a sustainable solution for the thousands of drinks supplied to runners on the course.

Festival Director, Marcus Gale remarked on the record participation numbers in 2019 as well as new partnership with Detpak.

“Today marks the biggest Marathon in the event’s 42-year history, in fact it will now be recorded in the history books as the largest ever marathon staged in Australia.

“Working with Detpak and the RecycleMe™ initiative means that we can also celebrate the Melbourne Marathon 2019 as Australia’s largest marathon to recycle paper water cups.” Gale said.

More than 50 trees worth of paper fibre has been saved thanks to the over 200,000 RecycleMe™ paper cups collected during the 2019 Melbourne Marathon, representing 74% of total cups used.

All the cups disposed of in the bins and at drink stations during the running festival were delivered to a Shred-X facility in Victoria, where they were counted.

The cups will be processed by Shred-X, ready to be recycled into new paper products, that can then be recycled up to 7 times*.

“We are excited to support Detpak and the Melbourne Marathon in improving the sustainability of the festival,” said Shred-X General Manager, Van Karas.

“Helping to create a closed-loop recycling process at Sunday’s event further cements the value and credibility of the RecycleMe™ System, backed by Shred-X.”

Learn more about RecycleMe™.

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Image of runners at the Melbourne Marathon