The commune of Forest has decided to stop the use of disposable plastic cups in and around Marien stadium during match days of the football club Union Saint-Gilloise.
The decision is expected to be approved at the meeting of the municipal council which will take place on April 29. For Stéphane Roberti, the mayor of Forest, this decision is the obvious next step in the further ‘professionalisation’ of the football club.
“We can only rejoice in the good results of the Union this season, which has demonstrated the professionalism of the club,” he explained yesterday to La Capitale newspaper. “However, after every match we have had the same problems reported by local residents – and also noted by our cleaning staff – who have found disposable plastic cups everywhere in and around the stadium.”
To replace these cups, the municipality plans to invest in the use of ‘rigid’ (returnable and re-usable) plastic cups, each of which will be indexed to a particular supporter for the duration of each of the Union’s football matches. Arguably, this solution is the most logical response to the problem, as glass cups are of course prohibited at football matches for obvious safety reasons.
“We are inspired by Anderlecht’s model,” said Mr Roberti, before adding: “The decision will also extend to the bars and cafés around the stadium, where fans tend to meet before, during and after matches.”
A meeting is planned this afternoon with café owners around the stadium to explain the implementation of the new system.
Jean-Marie Philips, Managing Director of the Union, also welcomed the news.
“We are very much in favour of this environmental initiative, which is also pleasing to our English investors,” he explained to the newspaper La Capitale. “This plastic rubbish problem is not good for the club’s image.”
In the long term, said Mr Philips, the reusable and returnable cups could even be adorned with special inscriptions evoking historic matches in the club’s history. “That way the cups will become collector’s items for fans,” he explained.