A letter from Plastic Soup Foundation to the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) which represents 196 National Cycling Federations, received an enthusiastic response. In this letter, Maria Westerbos, director of PSF, asked last February to stop the use of plastic confetti at cycling races. Now, David Lappartient (president of the UCI) responds: “We will, as per your advice, ensure to include the use of environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic confetti.”
The custom of sprinkling confetti at cycle races, and especially at the finish, is widespread. Each time, thousands of them are thrown into the air with confetti cannons. All those pieces blow with the wind or wash away with the rain and are impossible to clean up. Confetti is usually plastic because it is a cheap solution. However, the pieces of plastic do not decompose and contribute to the plastic soup.
In her letter, Westerbos pointed out to the UCI that plastic confetti is, in fact, contrary to the Global Sustainability goals they wish to pursue. The letter ended with the appeal: “The Plastic Soup Foundation is not against the tradition of welcoming cyclists with confetti. We do, however, ask the UCI to do whatever is in its power to put an end to the use of plastic confetti. Environmentally friendlier alternatives, like paper confetti, are readily available.”
Cycling is healthy, accessible, and environmentally friendly. On Earth Day 2020, UCI joined the Sports for Climate Action Framework of the United Nations. To battle climate change, more than a hundred sports federations have already joined this UN initiative – in which the International Olympic Committee (IOC) plays a pioneering role.
Together with the national cycling federations, the IOC and other stakeholders, the UCI will publish a sustainability toolkit at the end of 2020. This toolkit will not only be used by cycling federations, but also by other sports federations. Sports associations around the world will soon receive urgent advice not to allow plastic confetti anymore.
We at Plastic Soup Foundation welcome the fact that the UCI will discourage the use of plastic confetti through this toolkit and are, of course, very happy that we will get what we ask for so soon!
Letter from David Lappartient (UCI) to Maria Westerbos (PSF)
Photo by Markus Spiske
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