The Paris 2024 XXXIII Summer Olympic Games will take the bold lead of being the first major event to disallow single-use plastics.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced this ambitious plan on May 26, 2023. Sporting and sustainability-minded worlds alike are eagerly talking about France’s progressive initiatives to provide new alternatives to plastic.
Hidalgo cited the deaths of millions of animals each year due to the ingestion of plastics as her major concern. She pointed out that pollution is a worldwide environmental issue. What better way than for the Olympic Games, representing the best of global cooperation, to lead the way in modeling ecological responsibility?
Organizers say they want to halve the carbon footprint of previous games, as well. According to the website, Paris 2024.org, “The Paris 2024 organizing committee has established a new model for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, pledging to deliver an ambitious, spectacular, universal event that is more responsible, more sustainable, more united and more inclusive.”
Paris 2024 and The International Olympic Committee are part of the Sport for Nature Framework, which works to build a better relationship between sporting and nature through minimal impact, restoration and protection of nature.
Already, visitors to any of the competition sites that are being prepared will have to leave their plastic bottles behind. During the Games, major sponsor Coca-Cola will dispense drinks in reusable glass bottles. Even marathon runners will be given reusable cups.
On May 16th the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) issued a statement claiming that as much as 80% of plastic pollution in the world could be reduced by using already-existing technologies and simply making policy changes.
This statement was released just before the UNEP countries were to meet in Paris to help form a global treaty to eliminate plastic waste.
Will the world keep waiting for currently-existing technologies to do something different, or will they build a future without single use plastics? Paris 2024 Olympic Games planners intend to prove it can be done.