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Olympic Games given recycling head start

The sustainability of the upcoming Games is to 'leave a legacy far beyond the departure of the Olympic flame'.

United Kingdom – Recycling will be a key feature of the ‘€˜truly sustainable’€™ Olympic Games which are set to start next Friday in London. And among other initiatives, major recycler ECO Plastics will be collecting colourless PET from event-related venues to create an estimated 80 million new bottles. Meanwhile, it will also be assisting the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) in tackling the immense volume generated all over London.

According to the recycler, all material will be transported to and processed at its state-of-the-art Continuum Recycling plant in Lincolnshire – a joint venture with Coca-Cola Enterprises which was opened earlier this year at a cost of some US$ 22.9 million. Comprising advanced rPET technology, the plant will reprocess at least a fifth of the Games’€™ total consumer discards, according to ECO Plastics’€™ Managing Director Jonathan Short.

LOCOG’€™s vision is of ‘€˜zero waste at the Games’€™, to which end colour-coded icons are being printed on packaging and on refuse bins throughout London to ensure material enters one of the following channels: recycling; food and compostable packaging; and non-recyclables. According to LOCOG, it will receive daily updates on the total volume of refuse handled, as well as on the proportions sent for recycling and composting.

‘€˜We’€™re excited about the revolutionary new system we have created for the Games, which will make it easier for us to ensure that no waste is sent to landfill during Games time,’€™ the committee states. ‘€˜We aren’€™t only going to put on the biggest sporting event in the world; we are going to hold the world’€™s first truly sustainable Olympic and Paralympic Games, leaving a legacy far beyond the departure of the Olympic flame.’€™

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