How can watching an FC Goa game be a sustainable experience?

An evening of football at the popular Fatorda stadium includes a lot of waste. So, what can the game organisers / stadium committee do to reduce it?
FC Goa match at Fatorda, Goa
FC Goa match at Fatorda, GoaPicture Courtesy: Heena Shah

Goa’s only Indian Super League team, FC Goa plays at the Pandit Jawaharlal Stadium in Fatorda, Margao, every couple of weeks during the season. The stadium capacity of twenty thousand people attracts about eleven thousand fans on an average per match.

The fan following of the club is so incredible that most of the supporters don the orange jerseys, move to the band that comes along and are fully engrossed in the games.

The game is watched by people of all ages. This means a lot of kids come to watch football too. They love their popcorn that comes in paper cones at the stadium. Unfortunately, a lot of that popcorn flies around and is eventually found on the floor.

There is also water being sold in paper cups. But, did you know that this paper cup usually has a plastic lining to prevent the water from leaking out? It cannot be composted directly and therefore has to go through a process.

There is so much waste generated in so many different ways. Imagine a good ten thousand people trashing paper cups and popcorn cones!

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According to Nexus Media News, a football stadium may generate about 47 metric tons of waste at the end of a game. While The Bridge Desk states that Fatorda stadium is the league’s first zero waste stadium, which means no waste goes to landfills. It means that waste is either composted or recycled.

But, a lot of resources go into the process of recycling itself apart from producing those single use items. Therefore, it has a high carbon footprint.

So, to really up that zero waste stadium to be more sustainable, what can the game organisers or the stadium staff do to truly minimise the waste by promoting reusables?

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Carry own reusable bottle and or cups.
Carry own reusable bottle and or cups. Picture Courtesy: Heena Shah.


Instead of resorting to single use paper glasses, encourage everyone to carry their own reusable bottle and or cups. Provide water refill stations and possibly reusable glasses there for everyone to use.


Popcorn and other snacks:

Similar to the water solution, get everyone to bring their containers or dabbas. Fill those up with snacks or popcorn. In the case of carrying popcorn through the stadium, in order to reduce the spillage, it could be carried in a large covered container and then fill in the customer's container on the go.

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Each jersey is packaged in a plastic sleeve, which is thrown out on the street, or the bin, soon after purchase. This is because it is worn right away by fans while heading to their seats in the stadium. Skip this plastic lining while packaging jerseys and indicate the newness with a label, which can later be used as a souvenir.

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Parking at Fatorda Stadium, Goa.
Parking at Fatorda Stadium, Goa. Picture Courtesy: Heena Shah.

Vehicle entry and exit:

A lot of cars queue up, but scooters make their way through at entry and exit. The actual parking is well organised with gaps in between. However, during entry and exit, a smoother system is created through larger queues, where vehicles turn off the engines until it's their turn to move. This would reduce the burning of unnecessary fuel and air pollution. 

(Heena Shah is an avid traveller and covers topics such as sustainable travel and lifestyle. Got comments, suggestions? Contact:

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