I cannot wait until the Olympics! It was slightly disappointing (just like the Waste Review), that I could not obtain 100m final tickets but at least I got boxing [middle weight] second time around. But are packaging producers sprinting to the finish to offer London a sustainable games or have they failed to get off the starting blocks?
So far, it seems like companies are getting their act together and are actually going for gold. Last week, I attended Coca Cola Enterprise’s sustainability report launch. It launched its report at the Foremans Fish Island directly opposite the backdrop of the Olympic Park. Attendees took a tour of the park after the event and it is looking impressive.
Coca Cola is one of the main sponsors of London 2012. CCE’s recycling director Patrick McGuirk said that when spectators walk into the Olympic Park next year they will get a total recycling experience. CCE has pledged that it will launch its PlantBottle soon in the UK “around September time” so spectators at the Olympics will have the chance to hold the bottle in their hands.
The 100% recyclable PlantBottle contains both recycled plastic and plastic partially derived from plant matter. The PlantBottle packaging is currently made by converting sugar cane into monoethylene glycol (MEG), which represents 30% of the total composition of the PET plastic by weight.
LOCOG, the Games’ organising committee, has also said that packaging destined for the London 2012 Olympic Park will have to be made from compostable bioplastics if it cannot be recycled.
It has made a landmark agreement between organisers and bioplastics producers to make sure that all non-reusable and non-recyclable packs, such as crisp packets, fast-food trays or liquid cartons, must be independently certified under the EN 13432.
Compostable packs will have to be made from starch or cellulose-based plastics.
I even understand that some recyclables from the Olympic Park will be taken away by barge. Organisers and producers definitely deserve a gold medal for effort so far.