For the first stop, UWW put three goals in focus in Turkey. It worked on donations and spreading a message to treat turtles, clean up the beach during and after the competition and help the region replant trees that were destroyed by the 2021 wildfires in Turkey.
You may have noticed from our social media posts in Turkey that Wrestlers, Volunteers and UWW staff worked alongside each other, picking up discarded litter and re-planting trees to replace those destroyed. UWW has implemented initiatives to raise awareness about the environment while reducing its impact during major events since 2018 and signed the UNCCC framework and adopted the Sport Climate Action Plan in 2019.
It’s not just the beach itself that is affected by littering but 80% of marine litter comes from the land and, by leaving rubbish on the beach, even next to bins, thoughtless visitors become part of the problem, as tides, winds and seagulls can all spread litter into our oceans. If we can help alleviate the issue with our beach clean ups even just a little then it is surely a worthwhile thing to do. One of the biggest littering issues is that of plastic on the beach, which can be swept out to sea and damage marine animals as well as those animals who live or feed on the beach.
There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic waste estimated to be in our oceans. 269,000 tons float, 4 billion microfibers per km² dwell below the surface. 70% of our debris sinks into the ocean's ecosystem, 15% floats, and 15% lands on our beaches. In terms of plastic, 8.3 million tons are discarded in the sea yearly.
At the first stop, reusable water bottles were given to the participants with the objective to stop the use of plastic bottles. The trend will continue at the remaining stops including the finals.
Silgar Beach, where this weekend’s World Series second leg is taking place, has a blue flag award which means that it has exceptional quality of cleanliness and it is important that we make sure that we take care of any litter generated by our event so that stunning Silgar is left in if not a better shape than we found it. As with the stop in Turkey, one of the main initiatives we will take part in is the Beach Clean Up where we do exactly this, pick up any litter left in or around the vicinity of the arena. Climate initiatives will continue at each stop we visit.