The Royal Parks Half Marathon presented by Royal Bank of Canada, has become one of the first major UK running events in the UK to go plastic bottle free.

For the first time since the race was started in 2009, plastic bottles will be completely removed from the route and runners will be offered bio-degradable cups at the water stations across the course.  Runners are also being encouraged to bring reusable water bottles with them on race day.

In addition through the introduction of a newly launched environmental policy, the sustainability drive will also extend to all their partners, exhibitors and sponsors reinforcing the organisers commitment and continued efforts to make the race as sustainable as possible.

As a result a number of green initiatives will be introduced to the festival site which will include; no single use plastic being distributed to people attending the event, all plates, cutlery and food servings must be made from a compostable material, no products containing palm oil can be used on the event site and exhibitors will not be allowed to use balloons or leaflet anywhere on site.

It looks as though many mass participation events are catching on, introducing their own plastic free initiatives but the Royal Parks Half continues to lead the way with its sustainability efforts.

Persephone Deacon-Cole, Project Lead at the Royal Parks Half said:

“We recognise as guardians of 5,000 acres of incredible Royal parkland, it was our responsibility to prioritise the environment in everything we do, which includes the Half Marathon. We made a commitment to remove all plastic bottles from the course and festival site, which we will accomplish this year at the 2019 race.

She added: “We need everyone to play a role in helping us to be the greenest half marathon. This includes runners, charities, sponsors, and vendors.

“Response to our commitment has been overwhelming. We surveyed our runners last year and 64% said they would consider the environment and sustainability when choosing a race. The Royal Parks Half is engrained in the social fabric of this city and we’re proud to be taking the lead in prioritising the environment.”

Now in its 12th year, The Royal Parks Half Marathon remains one of the most iconic half marathons in the world. The route will take 16,000 runners through four of London’s eight Royal Parks including Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens, as well as passing by famed London landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and the Houses of Parliament.