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[ Penn State Researchers Working With Sports Venues To Make Them Greener ]

Ecosystem and bioproduct researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences are working with professional sports franchises to make their venues “greener” and reduce the environmental impact of their events.

Attaining the goal of sending no materials to landfills after sporting events — instead composting some refuse left by crowds and recycling the rest — is as much a challenge of changing the culture and behavior of the fans as it is developing new, biodegradable packaging and eating utensils, according to Judd Michael, professor in the departments of Ecosystem Science and Management and Agricultural and Biological Engineering.

“We have found that making sports venues sustainable is an organizational challenge that involves proper signage, messaging, color codes and containers,” he said.

“Fans have to be persuaded to want to act in an environmentally conscientious way, and venues have to provide clear instructions and make it convenient to participate in their composting and recycling programs. Biomaterials science is just a part of the bigger-picture challenge, which also involves supply chains, marketing and psychology.”

Read the full story from the PA Environment Digest here.

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