Glasgow & West Scotland

Waste criticised in the aftermath of the Santa Dash

Discarded Santa suits Image copyright Zero Waste Scotland
Image caption A little girl in Glasgow asked, "Why is Santa in a bin?"
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Organisers of Glasgow's annual Santa Dash have been criticised over its environmental impact.

The run took place in the city centre at the weekend as part of the festive build-up.

Runners this year were dashing through the city in aid of Beatson Cancer Charity. The event has raised more than £250,000 for various charities since its launch in 2006.

But many participants discarded their outfits at the end of the event.

Image copyright Zero Waste Scotland
Image caption The run has raised over £250,000 since 2006

James Bonner posted a picture on Twitter highlighting his issue with "single use Santa suits".

"There are really positive social benefits to something like the Santa Dash - supporting a charity, it's an inclusive physical activity event for families, and it's something really fun and visual," explained James.

"But we do have to think of the environmental (and social) impacts of this. At the very least some form of recycling by the organizers or council."

Mr Bonner saw a little girl confused by the sight: "Her eye caught the suit in the bin.

"She was with her family, and she just turned to them and asked, 'why is Santa in a bin?'

"They just kind of laughed, as I think they had no answer."

Image copyright Zero Waste Scotland
Image caption Zero Waste Scotland advise that runners aim to reuse their suits where possible

The 5km fun run saw around 5,000 people last year dressing up in the name of charity.

Christmas-themed runs are held across the UK to raise money for a number of charities, and has been a well-loved tradition in Glasgow for over 10 years.

Image copyright Zero Waste Scotland

A spokesperson from Zero Waste Scotland said: "The Santa Dash is a fantastic event for a great cause. But while Christmas is a wonderful time of year, it can also be a very wasteful period.

"We appreciate that after running 5k people are keen to get out of their running gear but that shouldn't mean throwing your Santa suit in the bin.

Image copyright Zero Waste Scotland

Zero Waste Scotland advises that runners should try to reuse their costumes where possible: "Next year, we'd encourage people to try and reuse their costume, whether that's dressing up as Santa at home or by wearing it to their office Christmas party.

"And if you can't reuse your costume, then please make sure it is recycled by dropping it off at your local textile bank or household waste recycling centre."

Image copyright Zero Waste Scotland
Image copyright Zero Waste Scotland
Image caption Zero Waste Scotland advise that runners aim to reuse their suits where possible

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said the council would consider how to reduce the event's environmental impact in future years.

He said: "It was unfortunate the way that a minority of people discarded their Santa suits after the events but all of these suits were collected quickly and then disposed of appropriately.

"But we are always keen to reduce the environmental impact of our events where ever possible and will look at what can done differently with the Santa Dash in future.

"This year we ended the practice of handing out free water to Santa Dash participants, which reduced our use of plastic bottles by 95%.

"Many participants already reuse or provide their own costumes and anyone wearing a Santa suit was guaranteed free bus travel, which helped to reduce car traffic in the city centre."