Thirty-five thousand cyclists racing 109km through city streets and national park land, can create a lot of trash. But for this year’s Cape Argus Pick n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour on Sunday, environmental impact is once again high on organisers’ radar.
It’s not only the energy gel sachets, trail mix packages and water cups participants leave behind, but their transport to the starting line, fire hazards, noise pollution and the effects on plants and wildlife.
The Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust has forged another partnership to ensure responsible environmental practices, enlisting the Environmental Law Consultancy to assess its existing environmental efforts.
The consultancy’s managing director Peter Flynn said the partnership would help bring tour organisers’ environmental initiatives into line with international management standards.
“We just want to assist to bring a professional approach to it in the quest for continuous improvement.”
In 2002, the tour became the first cycling event in the world to incorporate a comprehensive environmental management plan.
Collaboration with WastePlan waste management company, NCC Environmental Services and PlasticsSA helps orchestrate the clean-up.
Stash Your Trash, launched five years ago, encourages racers to tuck away food wrappers until they reach refreshment station rubbish bins.
PlasticsSA gives people from disadvantaged communities a day of employment picking up litter, and many others volunteer.
Most refuse from riders is recycled.
“Between 95 to 98 percent of the waste has been recycled,” trust operations director Renée Jordaan said.
The primary goal of the environmental management plan, she said, was to reduce the carbon tyre tracks.