Ecovidrio and Unipublic come together to celebrate La Vuelta's most sustainable edition

July 21 st 2021 - 12:45 [GMT + 2]

© Baixauli Studio ©

La Vuelta and Ecovidrio, a non-profit organisation in charge of managing the recycling of glass packaging in Spain, present the most environmentally conscious edition of the Spanish grand tour. This year, Ecovidrio and Unipublic are going one step further and transforming the event into an authentic sustainability example: less waste, more recycling and a common goal – to highlight the importance of building a sustainable future.

Ecovidrio has always been one of the main partners chosen by La Vuelta to promote sustainability as one of the key factors of a sport practiced primarily in natural areas, that brings together millions of people along the route’s itinerary. Aftercollaborating together for six editions, this commitment to sustainability has been widely accepted by both cyclists and fans, alike. In 2021, La Vuelta and Ecovidrio are taking it further and are developing new initiatives in order to highlight their environmental commitment.


The presentation, held this morning in the centre of Madrid, featured the participation of Javier Guillén, Director of La Vuelta; Óscar Pereiro, ex-cyclist and Ecovidrio ambassador; Borja Martiarena, Director of Marketing at Ecovidrio; and Javier Ares, Eurosport journalist.

The General Director of La Vuelta, Javier Guillén, emphasised the ever-increasing relevance of sustainability in sporting events. “Citizens are becoming more demanding, this is a reality. We must all do more for nature and for our biodiversity. At Unipublic, we are ambitious and wish to prove that La Vuelta is an example in sustainability”, he said. Borja Martiarena, Director of Marketing at Ecovidrio, pointed out that “this edition represents a new start so that our collective actions may promote an ecological spirit, not just among cycling fans, but in society in general”.


Spain’s greatest cycling event multiplies its environmental initiatives and, once again, raises awareness about the importance of recycling in the fight against climate change and the loss of biodiversity.

For the first time, the rubbish collection by the “Green Peloton”, made up of Ecovidrio environmental volunteers, will take place at the end of every one of La Vuelta’s 21 stages. In previous editions, over 200 volunteers collected rubbish in the most environmentally sensitive areas along the route. Encouraged by its success, the next edition will increase this sustainable peloton’s reach to the entire route, from the high-altitude areas to the flat, urban areas. In La Vuelta 21, the Ecovidrio volunteers will carry out a total of 36 cleaning raids, a true milestone in the improvement of the event’s environmental footprint.

Another great novelty this year will be the multiplication of the spaces known as Eco Zones or rubbish collection areas for the riders, in accordance with new UCI Regulations. Ecovidrio will sponsor these spaces and will make an average of six signposted areas available to riders in linear stages so they may dispose of their rubbish. One of this edition’s goals is to make the riders assume their responsibilities with regards to their surroundings. Proof of this is the sponsorship of these areas that, although generally used before, will be used even more so in order to avoid possible penalties.

Also, the largest recycling bin in the world will once again be present at the first stage in Burgos and in the final stage at Santiago de Compostela. This Ecovidrio emblem symbolises the citizens’ commitment to recycling packaging across the country. This effort places Spain above the European average in terms of recycling, with 8 million glass containers deposited in the green bins daily.

As in past editions, Ecovidrio will install personalised recycling bins in the municipalities to be visited by La Vuelta. The glass packaging collected in those bins will be used to make the stage trophies, awarded to the winners.

Also in attendance was ex-cyclist and 2006 Tour de France winner, Óscar Pereiro, who will, for the sixth consecutive year, be the campaign ambassador. During his participation, Pereiro highlighted the fans’ growing environmental activism and pointed out that “if we, in sports and in society, maintained our commitment to the environment and to glass recycling, we would all achieve a common goal: the health of our planet and the health of its people”.

Besides the actions implemented by Ecovidrio, each year Unipublic improves the means to leave the smallest ecological footprint possible as it crosses through natural territories. For this purpose, it creates a vast coordination network with recycling and sustainability sponsors and then carries out a variety of actions such as making the leader jersey using recycled fibres (Santini), measuring La Vuelta’s ecological footprint in order to improve the event’s efficiency in terms of energy (Feníe Energía), a fleet primarily made up of electric vehicles (69 Škodas, three of them Enyaq, 100% electrical), the installation of battery and light bulb recycling spots by Ecopilas and Ambilamp or the use of recycled cardboard cups (up to 30,000 units) to serve Segafredo coffee.

The 76th edition of La Vuelta, that will take off on the 14th of August and will conclude on the 5th of September, will be a national reference to boost recycling, particularly in municipalities and natural areas pertaining to the regions that La Vuelta will be held in: Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha, Autonomous Community of Valencia, Region of Murcia, Andalusia, Extremadura, Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia. 

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