Climate warning
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Climate warning

Zero plastic promised already down the drain one year before the games

Zero single-use plastic was one of the first commitments of the organizers of the Paris Olympics. Imagine, no plastic bottles, fountains installed in the Olympic Village and at all venues hosting events; all athletes and spectators with their water bottle; reusable cups in bars... Unfortunately, this objective has since been scaled down, along with the general carbon footprint of the event, by the way. From now on, it is rather a question of halving the single-use plastic footprint compared to the London Games - which took place in 2012, (only TWELVE YEARS ago, mind).
In France, since January 2021, establishments open to the public are prohibited from distributing free plastic bottles containing drinks. In theory, all athletes and volunteers inside the Olympic Village and at the event sites should therefore use water bottles filled from taps or fountains. However, the Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Cojop) 2024, is requesting an exemption for the four million drinks served to athletes and referees. They invoke "a public health imperative". This request apparently come from athletes, anxious to use hermetic bottles, "the only way to ensure optimal food safety and to avoid the risks of 'doping by sabotage' thanks to the sealed cap". For information, a marathon requires the use of around 400,000 plastic bottles for around 50,000 runners.
On the public side, nearly 700 fountains installed by Coca-Cola, a global partner of the Olympic Games, will make it possible to buy water but also Coca-Cola, Fanta or Sprite in a cup, which will then be collected, cleaned and reused (wonder how and whom by?) The American giant – which has obtained the exclusive distribution of cold and hot drinks – plans to distribute eighteen million cold drinks during the event. “More than half of the volumes will be served in fountains at the Parisian sites, but Coca-Cola will also use returnable glass bottles in certain places and recycled PET plastic bottles "when operational conditions prevent the installation of fountains", explains the manufacturer in a press release.
“We are not at all in a zero waste approach, denounces Charlotte Soulary, in charge of advocacy for Zero Waste France. "Recycled plastic is a trick. Manufacturers are currently pushing to introduce a deposit on plastic bottles in order to increase recycling volumes. However, a plastic bottle, even recorded for recycling, remains a single-use product »
It is particularly shocking that Coca-Cola is a partner of these Games which claim to be ecologically virtuous, while the company has been ranked for 5 years as the biggest plastic polluters in the world by the Break Free from Plastic movement.
Danone, another major partner of the Games has pledged to supply one million fresh, plant-based dairy products to athletes every day and to cover thirteen million meals for volunteers and spectators. On the menu, Actimel, Activia, Danette, Danone, Hipro (drinks and high-protein desserts for athletes) or Alpro (drinks or vegetable desserts), generally sold in jars and plastic bottles. They are currently conducting “small-scale” experiments on returnable glass, bulk or even large-format pots made of recyclable cardboard. But these devices will not be operational for the Olympics.
The City of Paris is, for its part, still aiming for zero plastic on its territory. It promises visitors a supply of plastic-free drinks and catering in “Parisian celebration areas and around official sites (banks of the Seine, experimental districts, tourist monuments)”. 30,000 reusable cups with deposit should be available as well as "a shared system of reusable containers for take-out meals (glass salad bowls, burger boxes, etc.)". After the Games, these cups will be reused during the Parisian races throughout the year in order to save "nearly 12 tonnes of plastic per year, or around 800,000 bottles", says the municipality.

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  • zelda ninga

    34 w

    This is absurd very dissapointing.

    • We Don't Have Time

      41 w

      Dear Jacqueline Marchelli Your climate warning has received over 50 agrees! We have reached out to Olympics by email and requested a response. I will keep you updated on any progress! To reach more people and increase the chance of a response, click the Share button above to share the review on your social accounts. For every new member that joins We Don't Have Time from your network, we will plant a tree and attribute it to you! /Adam, We Don't Have Time

      • Sarah Chabane

        42 w

        Are we really surprised about this?

        • Videlis Eddie

          47 w

          Disappointing... they should work on this....

          • Edwin wangombe

            47 w

            This is really unfortunate 😔

            • Harrison wambui

              47 w

              We must work on it

              • Kevin

                47 w

                Lets end this menace

                • bonke reinhard

                  47 w

                  Enough is enough we must end the use of plastics in this nation,,

                  • Munene Mugambi

                    47 w

                    Not surprised they went back on their word

                    • mercy nduta

                      47 w

                      It's time to convert pledges into action.

                      • walter lungayi

                        47 w

                        So disappointing


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