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Rugby fans leave huge ecological footprint

With thousands of rugby fans thronging into Cardiff for international weekends, it seems the city pays a high price long after these have left.

While supporters pumped an estimated £11.2 million into the citys economy for last years six nations match with Scotland, the ecological footprint left behind was more than 3,500 times the size of the Millennium Stadium pitch on which the match was played.

     A full house in Cardiff brings more than just support for Wales (Huw Evans Agency)

This is the finding of Cardiff Universitys Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society (BRASS) which found that the legacy left by those attending the game was 66.5 tonnes of waste.

BRASS researcher professor Max Munday said: The economic impact of this event compares favourably to other sporting events which have taken place in Wales.

Although this is very positive news for the city and the rest of Wales, those involved in hosting large events in Cardiff such as the Welsh Rugby Union, Millennium Stadium and Cardiff Council still need to take the environmental consequences of such events more seriously.

Of the waste produced, 65% was glass, 20% paper and card packaging and 12% food waste. While 80.5% of this came from food and drink establishments, less than 1% of the arisings from the game were recycled.

Millennium Stadium communications manager Laura Wilby said: As the stadium plays an important role in the economic, sporting and cultural life of Cardiff and Wales we are fully aware of the responsibility that brings to the Welsh Rugby Union and the Millennium Stadium.

We are actively looking at ways to utilise renewable energy and recycle rainwater and refuse as part of our commitment to take drastic steps to help care for our environment.

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