One hundred per cent plant-based water bottles are to be given to the runners of this year’s Derby 10K – making it one of the most-environmentally friendly races ever run in the UK.

Utilita Energy is to be the 10K’s first Official Environmental Partner after agreeing a deal with organisers, Derby County Community Trust.

As an Official Partner of Derby County Football Club, Utilita Energy extended their support to the Trust as headline sponsors of last year’s event.

This year, the energy supplier is paying for the 100% plant-based water bottles, meaning 10,000 single-use plastic bottles will not be required.

The bottles are supplied by HelpWater who use the plant-derived and renewable polylactide to manufacture their bottles which are fully biodegradable.

They can also be recycled and if burnt can be returned to polymer form without emitting pollutants.

Emma Pilgrim, Events Manager at Derby County Community Trust, said, “The environmental impact of the race is something that we have been thinking more about across the last year, as we have a responsibility as an event and as a charity to educate participants across all of our programmes on single-use plastic.

“We have been a part of the Premier League and Sky Ocean Rescue’s #PassOnPlastic scheme which has seen us teach schoolchildren about the changes we can make to support the planet, and we wanted to reduce as much plastic as possible from this year’s Derby 10K.

“The obvious place to start this change was to not order the 10,000 bottles that we usually distribute, and thanks to Utilita’s investment in the event we have been able to eliminate all of this single-use plastic.”

Utilita’s Director of Marketing & Communications, Jem Maidment, added: “Whether we’re campaigning to reduce energy wastage in homes, or encouraging people to switch to biodegradable plastics, Utilita is always trying to help the UK reduce its overall carbon footprint.

“This latest opportunity with Derby County Community Trust is a perfect example of how an investment in biodegradable bottles will reduce carbon emissions and, more importantly, it will communicate the importance of behaviour change to everyone involved – that’s more than 5,000 people.”

All water bottles distributed by race organisers both on the course and in the race village this year will be plant-based.

For more information on the Derby 10K and Derby County Community Trust, please see www.derby10k.co.uk.

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