Ecovidrio turns La Vuelta 22 into a reference in sustainability and caring for the environment

July 26 th 2022 - 13:00 [GMT + 2]

La Vuelta and Ecovidrio, the non-profit organisation responsible for recycling glass containers in Spain, combine forces in order to turn this sporting event into a reference in sustainability. With the slogan ‘For a Sustainable Vuelta’, Ecovidrio and Unipublic, the organiser of the race, will develop a series of measures in order to raise awareness among the riders and the fans regarding the importance of caring for the environment and recycling glass containers during La Vuelta 22, that will travel throughout Spain and The Netherlands from the 19th of August to the 11th of September.  

The presentation of the sustainability measures that will be implemented in this new edition of La Vuelta took place in the Espacio Ventas de Madrid. The event featured the participation of the General Director of La Vuelta, Javier Guillén; ex-cyclist and ambassador of Ecovidrio and La Vuelta, Óscar Pereiro; Ecovidrio Marketing Director, Borja Martiarena; and the official speaker of La Vuelta, Juan Mari Guajardo.  

The General Director of La Vuelta, Javier Guillén, highlighted the relevance of sustainability in La Vuelta, one of the most watched sporting events in our country. ‘At La Vuelta, we’ve always tried to be pioneers and assume sustainability as one of the competition’s signs of identity. The new UCI rules and the fans themselves push us to work harder and to implement even more measures to reduce La Vuelta’s environmental footprint.’  

On his part, the Ecovidrio Marketing Director, Borja Martiarena, pointed out that events like La Vuelta serve as a lesson to raise awareness about sustainable habits. ‘Such simple gestures as depositing glass containers in the green bin accelerate the transition towards a circular economy. The act of stage winners recycling on the podium, as well as the recycling Eco Zones found along the competition route, are a powerful way to raise society’s awareness regarding the need to protect nature and fight against climate change,’ he explained.  

In his speech, ex-cyclist, 2006 Tour de France champion and campaign ambassador Óscar Pereiro emphasized the growing ecological spirit among the fans and highlighted the responsibility with which athletes must treat their natural surroundings. ‘Cycling is a sport that is closely-linked with nature, which is why we, La Vuelta participants, must lead our spectators by example. In moments such as these, when we’re experiencing dozens of bushfires, it is clearer than ever that we need to protect our natural heritage,’ he said.  

‘For a Sustainable Vuelta’  

In this context of climate emergency, the great Spanish cycling event becomes the setting for raising awareness about the importance of protecting our natural heritage and recycling, through the various sustainability measures.  

Recycling will be present both in the competition route and on the podium. In accordance with cycling regulations, Ecovidrio has installed Eco Zones, areas for rubbish collection located every 40 km along the stage where riders must deposit their rubbish in order to avoid sanctions. Also, winners will receive a trophy made out of recycled glass and will deposit the celebratory glass bottles in a bin located on the podium.  

On their part, Ecovidrio’s Green Peloton, a battalion of citizens that are committed to protecting the environment, will collect the rubbish generated during the final part of the mountain stages. One of these sweeps will take place in Sierra Nevada, where stage 15 will conclude, and the Green Peloton will call in reinforcements in order to clean the special natural area near the National Park.  

Ecovidrio will also install the largest bin in the world in Alicante, the city where stage 10’s time trial will conclude. This Ecovidrio emblem that will display the riders’ times symbolises society’s commitment to recycling glass containers and the climate emergency we are currently experiencing. In 2021, over 8 million glass containers were deposited each day in the green bins found all over the country.  

Besides these initiatives with Ecovidrio, Unipublic is also developing other partnerships in order to reduce its environmental footprint as much as possible on all the natural areas it visits. To this end, it is working towards creating a coordination network with sponsors linked to recycling and sustainability, and is currently involved in actions such as:

  • The leader jerseys created by SMS Santini are made using recycled textile fibres.
  • Over 70 Škoda vehicles form part of the hybrid car fleet that will move La Vuelta 22, along with two completely electrical cars.
  • Awareness raising action regarding the recycling of batteries and light bulbs with Ecopilas and Ambilamp. Installation of stands in the Departure Area and in the Parque Vuelta, so that the public can bring these types of residues and deposit them in the bins provided.
  • 30,000 recycled cardboard cups will be used by Segafredo to serve coffee during La Vuelta 22.
  • Aquaservice will install water dispensers at the starting lines and finish-lines of La Vuelta so that all personnel involved in the race can refill their reusable water bottles. This way, we will prevent the use of 190,000 single-use plastic bottles. Also, attendees present in the guest areas will be able to purchase a reusable cup (for one euro) in order to consume their drinks during their stay at La Vuelta. If they return the cup upon their departure, they will be reimbursed their euro. If they choose to keep it instead, the euro will be donated to an environmental clean-up initiative.  

The 77th edition of La Vuelta, that begins on the 19th of August and concludes on the 11th of September, will again be a national reference in promoting recycling, particularly in the municipalities and natural areas of the autonomous communities that the race visits: the Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias, Catalonia, the Autonomous Community of Valencia, the Region of Murcia, Andalusia, Extremadura and the Autonomous Community of Madrid.

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