ORLANDO – The Orlando Magic have already established an identity this season as a hard-nosed squad that competes night in and night out.
Two key components of that makeup are their willingness to clean the glass and collect loose balls, ranking top 10 in the NBA in both of those categories.
Now, the Magic are now taking the same approach in their off-the-court endeavors by focusing on sustainability, cleaning up the local community, and collecting any extra waste that can be kept out of landfills.
The Magic will be able to accomplish that mission through their unique partnership with PureCycle Technologies, Inc. Together, they aim to divert thousands of pieces of plastic waste from being landfilled or flowing into Central Florida waterways.
On Wednesday morning, the Magic and PureCycle began to put that plan into action by having volunteers from both organizations clean up areas of the Parramore neighborhood in Orlando.
“This is the official kickoff of our partnership with PureCycle, which we’re very excited about,” said Magic Vice President of Global Partnerships J.T. McWalters. “They’re helping us as an organization and at the Amway Center take the next steps. They’re helping us educate our fans and our staff on becoming more sustainable. We have a big opportunity as we bring thousands of people together every single game, every single concert to make an impact.”
As the first NBA team to implement PureCycle’s PureZero™ waste program, the Magic have a real chance to make a difference. PureZero is a first-of-its-kind plastic waste recycling program geared toward stadiums and entertainment venues.
“With the adoption of our PureZero™ program, the Amway Center can help close the loop on plastic waste generated at each game,” said PureCycle CEO Dustin Olson. “As an Orlando-based company, we are proud to work with the Magic. They are an organization deeply committed to sustainability, and we look forward to helping them tackle the plastic waste crisis right here in our own backyard.”
No. 5 plastic (polypropylene) is a common plastic found at stadiums across America and it mostly goes unrecycled, because leftover food and liquid makes it difficult and costly to salvage. Through game-changing technology, PureCycle will remove color, odors and impurities from souvenir cups and food containers to create an ultra-pure recycled (UPR) plastic that can be recycled multiple times.
PureCycle’s partnership with the Magic aims to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated during the upcoming season. To do so, the Magic and PureCycle will implement an innovative sustainability plan for the Amway Center that includes stocking concessions with No. 5 plastic products. Once those products are recycled with PureCycle, a truly circular recycling system will be achieved.
“The Magic have been great partners,” Olson said. “They’ve really embraced this idea of being a better steward of the environment. So, you’re going to see a lot of really cool stuff. You’re going to see PureCycle stickers and banners on the receptacles. That will remind people that they can recycle and that they should recycle. You’re going to see QR codes that they can scan to see how well we’re doing and (get more information on) the overall programs. You’re going to see a lot of buzz in the stadium.”
Together, the organizations are committed to philanthropic efforts in the community relating to environmental efforts and sustainability.
“We’re proud to be the first NBA team that they’ve partnered with, especially in their hometown,” said McWalters. “They really unlock the vision of what we can do better. They’re helping us get to where we’re aspiring to be. When it comes to how we can have better recycling opportunities for our fans and for our building in general, they’ve laid the blueprint our for us and for the Orlando Venues team. We’re really excited to follow it. They represent everything that we needed in a partner to take us to the next level in this space.”