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Hoffenheim's PreZero Arena has been declared Europe's first zero-waste football stadium. - © Daniel Kopatsch/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images
Hoffenheim's PreZero Arena has been declared Europe's first zero-waste football stadium. - © Daniel Kopatsch/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images
bundesliga

PreZero Arena: Hoffenheim's zero-waste stadium a Bundesliga first

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Hoffenheim's PreZero Arena in Sinsheim has been certified as the first zero-waste stadium in Europe by Germany's technical inspection agency (TÜV).

The recognition is the result of years of hard work towards becoming a pioneer in battling climate change and, according to managing director Denni Strich, it serves as an incentive to keep going, in cooperation with the club's sustainability partner and stadium sponsor, PreZero: "This was a great vision for us, we're very proud and happy about it."

On 11 and 12 April, numerous visitors flocked to the PreZero Arena – only this time not to see Hoffenheim play live in the Bundesliga. Instead, the stadium itself was the focus as part of an important TÜV inspection. And the result was historic.

Watch: Hoffenheim – all you need to know!

The PreZero Arena became the first European football stadium to be certified as a zero-waste Arena by TÜV Süd. The announcement marked a milestone for German football and also for Hoffenheim, who underlined their reputation as a trailblazer in the fight against climate change.

But what does zero waste actually mean? The basic idea behind the concept is to avoid waste entirely. However, since that is not possible at major events with thousands of visitors, the focus is instead on reintegrating the waste into recyclable materials.

Concrete examples of this at the PreZero Arena are the returnable beverage cups and the grass paper obtained from the stadium turf, on which autograph cards and matchday flyers are printed.

"We want to close the loop as much as possible," said PreZero expert Marcus Sagitz. "We have to see how we can incorporate packaging contents as well as possible so that they are recyclable. That's what the zero waste concept is all about." The three pillars behind the thinking are: Reduce (waste avoidance), Recycle (reuse) and Re-Use (use again).

"The TÜV certification is a milestone for us," added Strich. "It was a great vision of ours to get to where we are now together with our partner PreZero. Therefore, it is a significant day for us and all partners involved. We look forward to the future and further steps."

The club's huge efforts towards climate protection and minimising non-recyclable waste have also included their fans, who have been participating and involved every step of the way.