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Why do bananas never get lonely?

Greener and Cleaner waste management volunteers London marathon 2024

Why do bananas never get lonely?

Because they hang out in bunches! Much like our Greener and Cleaner volunteers who headed to the TCS London Marathon on 23rd April 2023 to help with waste management at the event.

With over 44 thousand runners taking part that was a lot of rubbish to manage! The team had an very early start, but in good spirits despite some rain, they manned six waste management points in the blue start area and another in the yellow area.

Volunteer Liz said: “Great fun, very exciting to combine my love of the marathon with my love of bins! It’s quite emotional helping the runners.”

The efforts of the volunteers massively reduce the negative environmental impact of the event. We promised them more banana skins and bottles than they would know what to do with and we were right.

Banana waste

“Bananas are the second most common tropical fruit consumed globally, with approximately 119.83 million tons produced worldwide… But with a lot of consumption comes a lot of waste. Most of the waste produced from banana consumption comes from the peel… resulting in approximately 3.5 million tons of banana peel waste per year. Banana peel waste contains carbon-rich organic compounds that can take up to two years to decompose and biodegrade, creating odor and producing excessive emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) that contribute to climate change”. (

Bananas are a great source of pre-run carbs that are easily digested by runners facing the marathon. Runners should also stay hydrated before this kind of mileage, so there are a lot of banana peels and water bottles in the rubbish that can be sorted and easily recycled. Banana peels headed for the organic waste and plastic bottles for mixed recyclables. Buxton also operate a closed loop recycling scheme on their water bottles. British Heart Foundation volunteers were also on hand to collect discarded clothing. It gets sorted, washed and sold in their shops.

The Greener and Cleaner volunteers worked hard as each wave of runners set off to start the marathon. It’s the second year Greener and Cleaner have been able to support the marathon in this way. Volunteer Rachel said “It was the clearest I’ve ever seen the site after the runners have finished, even more clear than last year.”

Sign up for 2024

Sign-up is open for 2024 waste management volunteers with Greener and Cleaner, so if you’d like to be at the 2024 London Marathon sign up now.

Sub-five hour marathon in a massive fundraising effort

In more marathon news, Rachel completed the marathon in 4:51:53. Fundraising for Greener and Cleaner she helped to raise nearly £800 on a dedicated sponsorship page and then switched to contribute to the total raised during the Big Give green match fund that took place 20-27th April.

Training since New Year’s Day and aiming for a sub-five hour time, she said “The day was incredible! I volunteered at the waste management stations before my start and it was a nice timely reminder of why I was running. The Greener and Cleaner volunteers were fantastic and the support out on the course was amazing too. I’m so proud of myself for running sub-five hours, but it was easy to do when I’m surrounded by such amazing and positive people at Greener and Cleaner”.

Well done Rachel!

Why not be part of our team of marathon volunteers doing waste management in 2024?

Rachel runs the London marathon

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