The Open and The Senior Open Presented by Rolex are spearheading more sustainable sports events post Covid with the help of Swedish drinking water company Bluewater.
Both championships, which attract the world's best players and tens of thousands of golf fans, have taken a stand against single-use plastic bottles by offering free purified drinking water on demand from unique Bluewater water stations and refillable craft stainless steel water bottles as an alternative to a throwaway culture.
"By using our solutions at The 149th Open and The Senior Open, they are empowering players and visitors alike to hydrate in a way that does not harm the environment," said Bengt Rittri, a leading Swedish environmental entrepreneur. He said tackling the devastating impact that throwaway plastic bottles have on the environment is vital for planetary wellbeing bearing in mind a million single-use plastic bottles are produced every sixty seconds.
“It’s unacceptable that most plastic bottles end up in the ocean or landfill where they take hundreds of years to decompose while leeching potentially health-threatening chemicals into the world’s water and food chains,” Mr. Rittri said.
The R&A, which is staging The 149th Open at Royal St George’s golf club in Sandwich, Kent, in mid-July first trialled the Bluewater water station and bottle solutions at The 148th Open at Royal Portrush, Northern Ireland, where they helped the organisation ditch the sale of throwaway plastic bottles. The Senior Open will be staged at Sunningdale Golf Club from 22 – 25 July.
Bluewater water stations harness patented technology that removes most water contaminants, including EDC chemicals, pesticides, toxic metals, viruses, bacteria, and microplastics. Called Superior Osmosis™, the Bluewater technology outperforms traditional reverse osmosis, which is widely considered the best technology for purifying water.
Bluewater warranties its stainless steel bottles to last a lifetime and only uses hypoallergenic silicone for leak-stopping fillers and carrying loops. In addition, Bluewater collects one kilo of plastic waste from seashores worldwide for every single Bluewater bottle sold using a blockchain-based platform that sees people paid to return plastic waste to certified recycling centers.
Bengt Rittri says Bluewater helps large scale events move to greater sustainability using business models that include selling stainless-steel bottles to compensate for any income lost from sponsorship by large beverage companies.
Since launching their water station and refillable bottle concept four years ago, the company has emerged as a leader in innovative water delivery solutions for events. Outside of golf, Bluewater solutions have been leveraged by the Volvo Ocean Race, Formula E, music events in South Africa and the USA such as Rock the Daisies and Ohama, and film location sites for video productions such as Ridley Scott's Raised by Wolves.
"We want to deliver people water as pure as nature intended and halt the need for plastic bottles of water. Single-use plastics, from bottles to other containers, are a ticking time-bomb threatening the wellbeing of coming generations, and it’s our task to harness human ingenuity by doing something to stop them," Bengt Rittri said.