Sustainability tops the agenda at World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow'24. WORLD ATHLETICS

With sustainability high on the agenda for the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 2024, an environmentally friendly process has been developed to manage meal vouchers for staff and volunteers at the city's venue.

Working with Glasgow-based charity Rags to Riches, the organisers have piloted a unique new scheme system that will see unused DVD cases turned into tokens that can be exchanged for lunches and dinners throughout the championships. With meal vouchers typically thrown away after an event, the organisers were keen to find a solution that would result in a sustainable approach that would conserve materials and prevent unnecessary waste. 

After approaching Rags to Riches with the idea of a sustainable solution, the event caterers were delighted to be able to work with the organisation to create a range of colourful plastic tokens, designed in the event's brand colours with the iconic thistle emblem emblazoned on the front. 

Using a laser cutter, the charity turned over 100 DVD cases into over 1,800 meal redemption tokens, eliminating excessive plastic waste and creating a sustainable process that was new to an event of this size. At the end of the Championships, the tokens will also be returned to the charity for use in other projects, with any excess plastic from the original process also recycled into new designs. 

The Championships aims to set a benchmark for international events by adopting best practice in sustainability to minimise environmental impact. As part of this strategy, a Meatless Friday will be offered on the opening day, with hospitality and staff menus consisting entirely of vegetarian and vegan options for the morning and afternoon sessions. 

Glasgow 2024 is committed to leaving its mark both on and off the track. GLASGOW 24
Glasgow 2024 is committed to leaving its mark both on and off the track. GLASGOW 24

All hot meals prepared for VIP ticket holders, technical officials, workers, and suppliers will be meat-free on Friday 1 March, while the soup served to the majority of volunteers, staff and officials will also be vegetarian throughout the course of the event (1-3 March). In addition, more than half (60%) of the sandwiches provided to WICGlasgow24 staff and volunteers will be vegetarian. 

Lauren Hooper, Govanhill Baths Community Trust - Rags to Riches Manager, said: "I was thrilled when the organisers approached us with a request to produce meal vouchers from recycled plastic. We were able to laser cut the tokens from donated DVD cases that would otherwise have been wasted, a process which that uses less energy than chipping and moulding the recycled plastic. This project is a great example of an organisation thinking ahead, to ultimately reduce the strain on the earth's resources." 

"Sustainability is a key part of our social impact strategy for the Championships, and we were delighted to work with Rags to Riches to create a new type of meal voucher scheme that is sustainable and practical for our staff. Our overall aim is to be both successful and sustainable, and a big part of achieving this goal is by looking for new ways to be innovative in our planning and delivery," Billy Garrett, Director of Tourism, Culture and Events at Glasgow Life and co-Chair of the Local Organising Committee said.

"Whilst meal redemption tokens and Meat-less Friday are only a small part of this, it's important that we look at all possible areas to see if there is a scope to change to a more sustainable method, as every small change we make is another step towards a more sustainable future for major events. I hope that these ideas will be replicated in the future, and who knows, maybe our tokens will still be in use the next time Glasgow hosts a major sporting event," he added. 

European Capital of Sport for the second time in 2023, Glasgow has a proven track record in hosting international events, including the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships, co-hosting UEFA Euro 2020, and the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships. 

The Commonwealth Arena is the venue for the World Athletics Indoor Championships. WA
The Commonwealth Arena is the venue for the World Athletics Indoor Championships. WA

A Local Organising Committee, led by Glasgow Life (on behalf of Glasgow City Council) and UK Athletics, with support from the other funding partners, Event Scotland and UK Sport, has been created to deliver WICGlasgow24.

Glasgow Life is a charity that believes everyone deserves a great life in Glasgow and finds innovative ways to make this happen across the city's diverse communities. Its programmes, experiences and events range from grassroots community activities to major cultural, arts, and sporting events that put Glasgow on the international stage. It aims to promote inclusion, happiness and health and support the city's visitor economy, to improve Glasgow's mental, physical and economic wellbeing ( 

EventScotland works to make Scotland the perfect stage for events by securing and supporting an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events. It provides funding opportunities and access to resources and information to develop the industry. It is a team within the Events Directorate of VisitScotland, the national tourism organisation, alongside the Business Events and Development teams ( 

UK Sport is the UK's trusted expert in high performance, supporting the best national athletes, teams, sports and events to achieve positive success. Established in 1997, through strategic leadership and investment of National Lottery and Government funding, UK Sport has transformed the high performance sports system in the UK, winning more Olympic and Paralympic medals than ever before and being recognised as one of the world's leading nations for hosting events (