Ecovidrio’s ‘Green Peloton’ will pick up the rubbish left behind during 8 La Vuelta mountain stages

La Vuelta and Ecovidrio presented their sustainability project in Madrid yesterday – one that they hope will make this edition the most sustainable in its history. The campaign “Recicla vidrio y pedalea” (Recycle glass and pedal) that is being held for the fifth consecutive year, will feature among its main activities the participation of the “Green peloton”, a group of environmental volunteers that will collect rubbish in eight of the race’s stages. These stages will be those with high-altitude finales, namely 5, 7, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18 and 20. The objective behind this initiative is to raise awareness among cycling fans regarding the need to care for the environment and to fight against littering in natural areas.

The day, celebrated in the ECOOO, in Madrid, featured the participation of Javier Guillén, General Director of La Vuelta; Óscar Pereiro, ex-cyclist and ambassador of Ecovidrio; Borja Martiarena, Ecovidrio’s Marketing Director; and Carlos de Andrés, TVE sports commentator, who moderated the event.

The General Director of La Vuelta, Javier Guillén, underlined the particular relevance of caring for natural areas when it comes to a discipline such as cycling “that transits, depends on and lives off nature”. “We have to make the effort to leave the best possible ecological footprint. Our brothers at the Tour de France have respected the 82 protected natural areas that they have passed through in 2019, and we must do likewise. La Vuelta 19 will take place near six UNESCO World Heritage Sites”, he added.

For Borja Martiarena, Ecovidrio’s Marketing Director, “sports and sporting events such as La Vuelta are vital for us. They are fundamental in making us aware of our actions as citizens in open spaces and natural areas. In the case of cycling, its fans are increasingly more aware of the footprint they leave on the environment and, therefore, seek to prevent it”.

In the 19 stages held in Spain in this year’s edition, Ecovidrio will again set up special containers featuring the campaign images in the different municipalities that La Vuelta 19 will pass through. Citizens will be able to recycle their glass that will, later, be turned into the recycled glass trophies given to the stage winners. “For the second consecutive year, we will hand out these recycled glass trophies. It is something that we are particularly proud of as it is the result of small gestures by the citizens of each municipality that link us directly with La Vuelta”, said Martiarena.

Also for the second year in a row will be Ecovidrio’s Green Peloton that will clean up and collect rubbish at the arrival locations. Regarding this initiative, Martiarena mentioned that “the collaboration of citizens and local authorities allowed us to collect almost 300 kilos of rubbish in 2018. This achievement was a huge step towards a better world”.

As in other editions, a green container will be set up on the podium so that stage winners may dispose of the glass bottle they celebrate their victory with during the awards ceremony. New this year, the signature panel that all cyclists will pass through every day will be made of recycled glass. Martiarena has classified this initiative as “unique, because it involves the riders even more and makes them aware of the environmental impact that their passing through actually has”.

Lastly, as recognition for its great efforts last year, Ecovidrio will install in the weeks leading up to Stage 2 in Benidorm its giant 8-metre container. The installation of this monument signifies the recognition of Benidorm as the city that recycled the most glass last year throughout La Vuelta.

Also present at the event was ex-cyclist and Tour de France winner Óscar Pereiro, who will be, for the fifth year running, the ambassador of the ‘Recycle Glass and Pedal’ campaign. Pereiro has mentioned that the fans’ increasing environmental activism is “an important factor in not allowing us to forget the impact of the co-existence between cyclists and spectators”.

Pereiro also recognised that La Vuelta’s efforts, along with Ecovidrio are “a great way to promote cycling fans and their communities. Both have seen that their activities can have a positive impact on the environment”.

LA VUELTA, A SPORTING EVENT WITH A HIGH SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT  

The Spanish tour moves around 3.5 million people through the localities it crosses every year. This year, La Vuelta will have a total of eight high-altitude finales.

The route of the 74th edition of La Vuelta, that begins on the 24th of August at the Salinas de Torrevieja and ends on the 15th of September in Madrid, will take place in localities and natural spaces within the autonomous communities of Valencia, Catalonia, Aragón, Navarra, Euskadi, Cantabria, Asturias, Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha, Madrid and the neighbouring countries of Andorra and France.

The scale of the sporting event, which has both a high social and environmental impact, has led La Vuelta Ecovidrio to join forces in order to educate cycling fans and society in general about the importance of recycling glass, the problem of littering in natural areas and how to care for the environment.

A series of actions that fall within the scope of increasing the activities that sporting events linked to Ecovidrio must carry out in the eyes of a society with an increasing ecological conscience.