#RunFest Port Macquarie goes plastic-free
Posted: 31 Mar 2021
This weekend saw 3,000 runners and walkers take to the streets of Port Macquarie participating in the 10th anniversary event. #RunFest Port Macquarie is held annually on the stunning NSW Mid-North Coast.

But, this year, the marathon had an environmentally friendly twist, in the shape of plastic-free paper cups handed out to runners in place of plastic water bottles.

Runners had to stay hydrated for each of the below events:

Saturday 6th March

• The Team Holborow 3km Kids Fun Run
• IMF #RunSweatInspire on the 3 km route

Sunday 7th March

• Treble Breakwall Buster – half marathon plus 10km, plus 5km
• The Rydges Half Marathon, on the 21.1 km route
• The Athletes Food 10km Fun Run
• The Chop ‘n’ Chill Family 5km Fun Run

But the environmental impact of the hundreds of plastic water bottlers needed for these events is concerning.

Organisers hoped that by handing out the plastic-free cups at drinks stations – they would cut down the number of plastic waste significantly, and demonstrate that sustainable packaging alternatives can be used at a larger scale.

That’s the reason why Australian Castaway food packaging manufacturer was brought on board. Instead of traditional single-use plastic cups, runners were handed plastic-free cups.

Made in HACCP certified facilities, these cups have been designed to be more sustainable than ever! Made from a water-based dispersion coating, these cups are certified industrially compostable – that means they will decompose after 180 days in commercial composting conditions (if not recycled). That’s compared to the 450 years it takes for a plastic bottle to break down! – A large proportion ending up in landfill or in the oceans.


In another step to help reduce the festival’s environmental impact, bins will be serviced and collected by J.J. Richards. Collected cups will thenbe recycled to help form a “closed loop” system – Recycled cups are returned to a reprocessing plant to become new paper products.

The use of easily renewable, recyclable and industrially compostable plastic-free cups to replace some plastic is a win-win situation. Last year, these cups were trialled for the first time to try reduce the volume of plastic bottles used and discarded along the track. Over 10,000 plastic-free paper cups were placed at multiple drinks stations.

The event director, Kevin Chilvers, said that the “changes and the trials we’ve introduced last year and this year have the potential to change how mass participation events are delivered in the future”.

To learn more about our plastic-free paper cups, and how to minimize the use of plastic click the link below.