By Yana-Maria Milcheva
This past Saturday, Cardiff hosted one of the most exciting sporting events of the year. The final day of the Six Nations rugby tournament united fans from all over the world under the dome of the Principality Stadium, to witness Wales triumphing over Ireland with a 25-7 victory, taking home the Six Nations title and their third Grand Slam.
Despite the rain and the cold, an estimated 275,000 rugby fans travelled to Cardiff to be emerged into the amazing atmosphere of the game. However, after a night of celebrating (or mourning) the results from the game, the elated rugby fans left more than their hearts on the streets of Cardiff, which were littered with rubbish in the form of takeaway packaging and plastic pint cups.
Caroline Street, also known as Chippy Lane, is always the most littered area, especially after a big event like Saturday’s game. With takeaway restaurants open until late, Chippy Lane is a popular destination for partygoers, meaning that overflowing bins have become a common sight on the weekends.
As the littering issue is becoming more prevalent with every big event held in Cardiff, the question arises of who is responsible for keeping the city clean and how are taxpayers’ money being utilised.
To tackle the littering issue, Cardiff council has set up an event cleaning strategy, paying overtime hours to street cleaners working in the early hours of the morning. These cleaning operations benefit not only the local residents, but also the businesses in the city centre- if the streets remain uncleaned following a big event customers would inevitably be driven away, which would result in revenue loss for independent vendors.
While local food vendors are not responsible for cleaning the city streets after a big event, they should try reducing the excess plastic coming with every takeaway meal, which would help keep the streets cleaner while also reducing the overall levels of plastic waste.
Major events like the Six Nations drive thousands of visitors to Cardiff and can be used to showcase our multicultural, vibrant capital to the world. Therefore, it is in the council’s best interest to ensure that the city is presented in the best light possible to people from the outside, which includes being responsible for the streets’ cleanliness and providing the right facilities to manage the amount of rubbish being disposed by tourists and event-goers.