Are the beer snake's days numbered?

A "beer snake" at Old TraffordImage copyright
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“Beer snakes” are regular visitors to the Old Trafford ground

Cricket fans’ tradition of making “beer snakes” could be threatened by the launch of a new reusable cup system.

Lancashire County Cricket Club is introducing a multiple-use cup scheme to cut down on the 250,000 single-use cups used at Old Trafford every year.

They will make their full debut when England meet Australia on 24 June.

Some social media users are worried the move will kill the tradition of used cups being paraded through the stands in a long, winding collection.

A club spokesman said the cups, which require a £1 deposit, had been trialled during Lancashire’s one-day game against Yorkshire on 5 June.

They will now be rolled out across the summer, beginning with England’s one-day international against the Aussies later this month.

Beer snakes have become common sights in cricket, with crowds across the world gathering together hundreds of discarded cups to form them.

At Old Trafford, it usually appears in the Foster’s Party Stand, where its arrival is often greeted by fans chanting “feed the snake or it will die”.

The Lancashire snake has attracted media attention too, with former England bowler and cricket pundit Graeme Swann mentioning it on Twitter several times.

Stephen Morgan wrote that it was ironic the environment would be “saved at the expense of” one of its own, adding “RIP Beer Snake”.

Darren Hoy congratulated the club for “moving forward” but spared a thought for the snake’s demise.

However, Adrian Ward thought the more well-off members of the crowd might be able to “keep the tradition alive”.

Anthony Mundy, the club’s operations director, said it was “determined to change” the amount of single-use plastics.

Alex Hopkinson, whose company has supplied the cups, said alongside the environmental gains, the club would also “benefit from having less clear-up and the supporters will benefit by having a sturdier cup to drink out of, meaning less spillage and a cleaner stadium to enjoy”.

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