China marathon goes green with maize straw water cups

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In China, the upcoming Xiamen Marathon will use water cups made from maize straw as race organizers in partnership with the United Nations Environment Clean Seas program aim to cut the popular event’s plastic waste by half.

Nearly a million single-use plastic cups will be replaced with the biodegradable alternatives. Organizers also plan to go paper-free, with all communications to race participants to be digital. Promotional materials will be printed on biodegradable materials and discarded race placards will be recycled.

The Environment Clean Seas program was launched in February 2017 to combat marine litter. It includes 51 countries and numerous businesses and organizations.

“Joining the UN Environment Clean Seas campaign is a great opportunity for us to upgrade the marathon to a new level by fulfilling our commitment to environment protection and sustainable development. It is just the beginning of a grand adventure,” Wu Mingxian, director of Xiamen Marathon organizing committee, tells Xinhua.