Call for Paris 2024 Olympics to be ‘launchpad’ for reusable packaging

Paris Olympics

OVER 100 sports organisations and elite athletes have called on Coca-Cola and Pepsi to use the Paris 2024 Olympics as a ‘launchpad’ for introducing more reusable packaging at future sporting events.

The Paris 2024 Olympics, which gets underway on July 26, will be the largest ever sporting event to serve beverages in reusable packaging, which will potentially lead to millions of single-use plastic cups being replaced.

In a letter led by Sailors for the Sea and EcoAthletes, signatories expressed their concern at the growing plastic pollution crisis and urged the soft drinks companies to use the Paris 2024 Olympic as a ‘launchpad’ for future measures at sporting events.

The 113 signatories are made up of 102 athletes, 22 of which will be competing in the 2024 Olympic games, and 11 organisations. Notable signatories include 39-time free diving world record holder from Italy, Alessia Zecchini, two-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer for Team USA Zach Apple, and the 50-year-old skateboarder bound for Paris 2024 representing Team Great Britain Andy Macdonald.

The letter also asks both brands to make reuse an option for all their customers globally and ‘dramatically’ increase reusable packaging by 2030, as well as advocating for the inclusion of legally binding targets and other mechanisms to increase reusable packaging in national legislation and in the United Nations plastic treaty.

Dr Shelley Brown, director of Sailors for the Sea, said, “Escalating plastic pollution poses a massive threat to the oceans and our health. Plastics are everywhere, from floating on the surface of the ocean, to sitting at the deepest point of the ocean floor, to the air we breathe and the water we drink. We must reduce the amount of single-use plastic being produced. The answer is simple – we need more reuse and less single use.”

Olympic sailor in mixed 470 sailing for Team USA, Lara Dallman-Weiss, added “I’ve competed in events around the world – and everywhere I sail, I find single-use plastics polluting our waters and shorelines. One thing is clear, more needs to be done to stop the plastics crisis.”