Paris 2024 – The Greenest Olympic Games
During the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, there was a lot of talk about the environmental efforts taken. Athletes slept on beds made from recycled cardboard, while the modular mattresses were made from polyethene fibres that could be recycled unlimited times. Under the Tokyo Medal Project, the medals were produced out of old electronic gadgets such as smartphones and laptops. Over 90% of Japanese cities, towns and villages participated in the two-year effort to collect recycled materials to produce 5000 medals. Eighty tons of small electrical devices were collected to make this project successful.
With the 2024 Olympics Games underway in Paris, new environmental efforts are coming into play. Spectators will sit on chairs made of plastic recycled from local bins. This decision was made due to a lack of virgin materials to make new seats, so the eco-construction firm Le Pave turned to make the seats out of waste. Around 11 000 seats will be made from recycled materials.
The Paris-based recycling company Lemon Tri will collect the plastic waste and transform it into shredded plastic chips. These chips will be mixed, heated and compressed in machines. The resulting sheets of plastic will be smoothed, sanded and sent to other partner companies in France to be cut and assembled.
The plastic collection for Paris 2024 has been carried out in the region’s schools, and over five million coloured soda bottle caps have been recovered. Moreover, eighty per cent of the 100 tonnes of recycled plastic needed to make the seats come from the yellow bins collections located in Seine-Saint-Denis. This is all part of the Paris 2024 “zero waste” strategy to limit single-use plastic usage, implement alternative solutions and encourage a circular economy.
The Olympic Games organizers are planning to make the Paris 2024 Games the greenest Olympic Games yet. They plan to reuse existing structures and encourage public transportation use.
Under the Legacy and Sustainability Plan, Paris 2024 has chosen to emphasize five priority issues:
- Circular economy initiatives before and after the Games
- Carbon neutrality and environmental protection initiatives
- Social innovation initiatives
- The inclusion of groups, workers, and users living with disabilities.
- Value creation in local areas.
Paris 2024 plans to implement a carbon-neutral approach that will mitigate the climate impact of the Games by predicting, avoiding, reducing and offsetting emissions and encouraging others to get involved. They plan to halve the carbon emissions from the previous Olympic Games. The Summer Games have emitted 3.6 million tonnes of carbon emissions in previous years. The Paris 2024 Games has set a carbon budget of 1.5 million tonnes which includes the emissions from construction, transportation and operations of the Games.
These plans are ambitious but are achievable. If Paris 2024 successfully reduces emissions and promotes a circular economy, it might set the standard for future Olympic and Paralympic Games, regardless of where they are held.