D.A. Points learns about Bermuda’s efforts to reduce waste on the islandPrior to the 2022 Butterfield Bermuda Championship, D.A. Points learns about Keep Bermuda Beautiful and their efforts to reduce waste and eliminate litter through action and education on the island. Further, Points learns about the process of turning recycled glass into sand for use on golf courses around the island.
People travel from all over the world to experience the natural beauty of Bermuda’s pink-sand beaches and scenic ocean views. Protecting this natural environment is crucial for not only it’s tourism-based economy, but also for the health and well-being of its 64,000 residents. Being that the small island nation is only 21 total square miles and located 653 miles from the nearest mainland, everyone must be considerate of their impact.
Large events must be especially thoughtful of the waste they generate. This is certainly the case for the PGA TOUR’s official stop on the island, the Butterfield Bermuda Championship. The tournament is committed to being intentional and responsible with all aspects of the event, which this year has implemented several new and innovative sustainability solutions.
The tournament, however, isn’t accomplishing this alone.
“Collaboration and partnership with local leaders have been key to all of our sustainability progress,” said Danielle Baiunco, Tournament Director of the Butterfield Bermuda Championship. “Guidance from Keep Bermuda Beautiful, the Ministry of Public Works, and support from our Sustainability Partner, Aspen Bermuda Limited, have made this all possible.”
The sustainability program starts with a significant reduction of single-use plastic used throughout Port Royal Golf Course during the week. Ticket holders are encouraged to bring their own reusable bottles and the tournament will be giving away bottles to the first 500 fans each day courtesy of Aspen Bermuda Limited. Water stations will be positioned around the course so spectators can refill their bottles and concession stands will serve drinks in reusable cups rather than single-use plastic. All Butterfield Bermuda Championship volunteers will also be provided a reusable bottle and 90 percent of the polo shirt they will be wearing is made from recycled plastic.
In addition to reducing plastic on site, the tournament is focused on recycling the items accepted on the island. Through collaboration with the Ministry of Public Works, the tournament has adopted a TAG – tin, aluminum, glass – recovery program. Bins will be placed throughout the golf course to separate these items from general waste, ensuring that they can be correctly processed at the local recycling facility.
Tin and aluminum are sold for a small return, but the Ministry of Public Works has innovated the re-use of its recycled glass. With the help of a machine that crushes the glass into various grades, the facility is able to provide a permeable drainage solution for construction projects on the island, namely used under the grass-playing surface of sporting fields and golf courses.
“It is so cool to know that glass from our event will be turned into something else used on the island,” Baiunco said. “Promoting circularity and re-use is one of our main goals.”
All other general tournament waste will be disposed of at Tynes Bay Waste to Energy Facility, where an incinerator converts waste to energy. This facility generates produces enough energy to power 10 percent of Bermuda’s residential dwellings, or 3,000 homes.
To reduce paper waste, the tournament has also moved to digital tickets, pairings guides, and course map. These items that were printed in previous years will be accessible via smartphone and QR code in 2022.
Throughout the year, the tournament works with Keep Bermuda Beautiful to ensure that the areas of the island that were directly impacted by the tournament are maintained and that the Butterfield Bermuda Championship is doing all it can to minimize its environmental footprint.
“We are still at the beginning of our sustainability journey, but we are proud of the strides we have been able to make this year,” Baiunco said.
Through an honest and thoughtful approach, the tournament hopes to set sustainability standards that can be followed by sporting events held in Bermuda and other golf tournaments around the world.