Tour de France Urged to End Plastic Freebies
The Tour de France is to cycling what Wimbledon is to tennis. The crowd puller has everything going for it, including the world’s top cyclists and a great route. Not everyone at the high-profile event, however, is pleased. Ecologists have objected to the avalanche of plastics that is generated during the event.
The corporate ‘caravan’ that motors across valleys and mountains ahead of the cyclists competing in the Tour de France has been a crowd-pleaser for decades, but ecologists want organisers to put an end to the avalanche of plastics it generates during the event.
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Every day of the Tour, the event’s corporate sponsors cover the route in a column of open-backed trucks that stretches for kilometers, throwing out snacks, drinks, t-shirts, keyrings and other objects, many of them made or wrapped in plastic. By the time this year’s event ended on the Champs-Elysees boulevard in Paris on Sunday, 15 million freebies wiould have been tossed to the crowds. A few years ago it was 18 million, but environmentalists say the “Tour de Plastic” has to do more.
“The giving away of ‘goodies’ has to be totally rethought. The ecological emergency demands action,” says Green party lawmaker Francois-Michel Lambert who is one of 30 legislators who, together with six charities including Zero Waste France and Surfrider Foundation Europe, wrote an open letter to the Tour’s organisers calling for action.