News article

Portland Timbers to trial reusable cup scheme in a bid to reduce waste

February 29 2024

The Portland Timbers Major League Soccer (MLS) side has linked up with packaging supplier, Bold Reuse, to provide reusable drinkware for alcoholic beverages within premium spaces at Providence Park. 

Portland Timbers to trial reusable cup scheme in a bid to reduce waste

Forming part of the club’s Green is Gold programme, the collaboration will aim to reduce single-use waste and promote more sustainable matchday experiences.

The initiative will be rolled out across three premium spaces as a limited pilot programme for all 2024 Timbers games, as well as Portland Thorns FC matches in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL).

These will include Tanner Ridge, the Lexus Lounge and The Club, where the hospitality team operated by Levy will utilise Bold Reuse cups. Should the programme result in the successful reduction of waste, Bold Reuse products will be expanded to other areas of the 25,000-capacity stadium.

“We are proud to partner with Bold Reuse, an innovative and established organisation that’s committed to making a positive impact on the environment,” Chief Operations Officer Ashley Highsmith said.

“Transitioning to reusable drinkware is an important step in our journey to making a more sustainable matchday at Providence Park. Making the switch in our premium spaces will provide important insight into how we can implement this program on a larger scale in the future.”

“When we look holistically at hospitality operations at stadiums, packaging is one of the key areas of opportunity to affect change." Mary McCarthy, Vice-President of Sustainability for Levy

Guests ordering alcoholic beverages in the premium spaces will be served a Bold Reuse cup. Once finished, fans will be encouraged to return the cup to a collection bin, with cups then inspected, sanitised and repacked to be reused at the next event.

“We are thrilled to support this first implementation of a reuse system within MLS. The Timbers are setting a new zero waste and guest experience standard for both leagues,” said Heather Watkins, Co-founder of Bold Reuse.

“Working with Providence Park showcases the continued leadership among major sports and entertainment venues in Portland, modeling to cities across the country how collaboration benefits the whole community and accelerates progress.”

Mary McCarthy, Vice-President of Sustainability for hospitality company Levy, added: “Reuse systems are the best option across all environmental metrics, so pilots like this are powerful ways we can learn together how best to implement a solution while maintaining an incredible fan experience.

“When we look holistically at hospitality operations at stadiums, packaging is one of the key areas of opportunity to affect change, and we look forward to tracking the success of this pilot closely.”

Image: Awar Meman on Unsplash

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