The New path towards Sustainability

By Nicolas Moore

The PGA tour is always working on ways to make a big impact in communities across the world, whether that is growing the game of golf or promoting great causes. Over the past decade, the tour has been making an aggressive push to become environmentally conscious. Due to the PGA tour being centered around some of the world’s best golf courses, sustaining the environment is significant to their future. With plastic water bottles being one of the biggest pollutants to golf courses, water boxes could be a useful solution to help the PGA tour in their sustainable efforts. Since 2010, the tour has partnered with FedEx to push forward a sustainable future called the “Fore!Ever” campaign, showing their ongoing pursuit for a cleaner tomorrow. Water boxes could be the next step for this campaign as it continues to grow. Plastic affects the Earth’s soil in ways that were unknown until recently. According to the UN Environment Programme, scientists are finding that microplastics are creating residuals in the soil. They have found that even with recycling efforts, the plastic is often not recycled and ends up in landfills, meaning the plastic will be breaking down in the landfills for about 1,000 years. This is creating higher toxicity levels in the soil, which will make the soil so toxic that it could affect water supply and entire ecosystems for years to come. Over the past few years, golf courses have been attempting to cut down on plastics being used at professional tournaments. The R&A (the European counterpart to the USGA) has been working to mitigate the usage of plastic. Phillip Russell, the R&A Assistant director of sustainability, noted to the UN Environment Programme that in the past, the tournaments handed out over 100,000 plastic water bottles to fans, players, and staff during the European tour season in 2019. This astounding amount of plastic being handed out prompted them to change their strategy and hand out reusable water bottles instead. This strategy was helpful, but lacks cost-efficiency for every tournament. With the European tour making such a big push to cut out plastic use, the PGA tour could follow suit with the use of water boxes. The water boxes are the perfect fit for the PGA tour, as a way to sustain their budget and the environment. It would be a simple switch from selling water bottles to selling the water boxes instead, proving there are cost effective ways to become resourceful. Water boxes can be the future product of sustainability for the PGA tour. By substituting water boxes for plastic water bottles, the issue of over using plastic could be solved and the tournaments would no longer need to spend money on reusable bottles. The water boxes could benefit the tournament directors by pushing a greener future and promoting a cleaner platform for their courses to flourish.