WWF taps on football to get Malaysians to combat plastic pollution

Malaysian Football League (MFL) has collaborated with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to combat plastic pollution as part of the Your Plastic Diet campaign at the Shopee FA Cup Final. The campaign involved engaging football fans at the Shopee FA Cup Final with specially created dynamic messages on microplastic pollution. The event marks WWF’s first collaboration with a football event for the campaign.

The messages were displayed on the LED perimeter boards and on the giant screens throughout the football match. The 80,000 spectators were told that they would collectively consume more than 360 plastic whistles throughout the 90-minute duration of the match based on a study commissioned by WWF finding that people could be consuming an average of five grams of plastic a week in combination with attendance data from the event. Another estimate indicated that over the course of 10 seasons, fans would individually consume the same amount of plastic as the seat they were sitting on.

In addition, a specially adapted version of the Plastic Diet film was displayed on the main screen which called upon the spectators to keep the stadium clean by cleaning up after themselves, picking up rubbish in their vicinity, and disposing of all waste properly.

Grey Malaysia launched the Your Plastic Diet campaign last month to raise awareness of how plastic pollution has led to particles of microplastic being ingested by people all over the world. The aim of the campaign is to drive global pledges for a WWF petition that urges governments globally to take collective action on plastic pollution.  The campaign has run in over 40 countries and been reported on worldwide, generating signatories for the WWF petition from people from over 100 countries.

Sophia Lim, chief executive officer and executive director of WWF Malaysia said as football is one of the biggest sports in Malaysia, WWF hopes its message can reach a significant number of spectators, not just those watching at the stadium, but also many more watching on televisions around the country.

“Sports fans are well known for their undying passion and enthusiasm for their team, and we would be delighted to have them rooting for and doing their bit for Team Earth too” she added.

Kevin Ramalingam, chief executive officer of MFL said that most football fans are family-oriented people who want to share the meaningful things in life with their loved ones. Usually, this is love for their team, but love for the environment and the importance of doing our bit to help is also a vitally important message.

“Football fans care about heritage and leaving a good legacy for our descendants, and what better legacy can we leave than a healthy earth and the practice of caring for the earth.” he added.

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