With a limited amount of fans allowed in NFL stadiums during the 2020 NFL season, the Eagles championed the idea to fill the midnight green seats with cutouts of fans. It should not come as a surprise that Eagles fans responded by purchasing nearly 5,000 cutouts to raise over $260,000 for the Eagles Autism Foundation.
It's been four months since the season ended and close to half of the cutouts still have seats at Lincoln Financial Field. Fans were provided opportunities to pick them up as keepsakes, but several remain. The Eagles simply don't want to throw them out, as it would create nearly two tons of plastic in our landfills adding to an already dire situation.
The Eagles reached out to Braskem, one of the team's partners in its Go Green initiative, and together they created a solution – the remaining fan cutouts will be recycled and transformed into park benches in the Philadelphia area. This is not the first time the two sides teamed up to tackle a unique recycling challenge.
The Eagles and Braskem created a closed-loop recycling program at Lincoln Financial Field. The results? Close to 30,000 pounds (15 tons!) of plastic has been repurposed ranging from bottle caps (around 620,000 bottle caps) to bread trays (nearly 1,350 pounds) to old stadium seats (close to 17,000 pounds).
To highlight the sheer amount of plastic that is in our everyday lives, over 1,900 pounds of bottle caps were recycled to create an 8-foot-tall replica of the Vince Lombardi Trophy to commemorate the Eagles' Super Bowl LII Championship.
Partnerships like the one between the Eagles and Braskem are a true win-win situation, where in fact the entire community benefits. The two teams will continue to work to identify new and creative plastic recycling opportunities that align with both organizations' sustainability goals to assure that plastic coming from stadium operations is recovered, recycled, and reused to benefit the environment in the pursuit of carbon neutrality.
Last year alone, the Eagles recycled nearly 3.5 tons of plastic. For more eye-popping stats on this Earth Day, learn about the Go Green initiative.