It is an undeniable fact that large sporting events like the Tour De France do create waste management problems. The many spectators and the party like atmosphere combine to produce a sizable amount of garbage within some formerly pristine environments. The colourful cyclists and their numerous fans leave a trail of discarded water bottles and other remnants of consumption packaging. Where human beings go, their waste is sure to follow. Environmentalists have been on the case to Tour de France organisers and something is being done about it.

Tour de France Spectator Garbage: Environmental Improvements

The huge area involved in such a massive event as the Tour de France is a contributing factor. It is this that has made waste management a far more challenging task than at other sporting events. It seems now that cyclists are in the cross hairs of eco warriors, when it comes to any discarded detritus related to bike riders. The celebratory behaviour of some fans at major events like the Tour de France has earned the ire of the environmentalists. Steps are being taken to soothe these green concerns and to clean up the race.

World cycling’s international governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), has initiated programs to deal with these environmental issues. The Eco-cyclo program involves a volunteer patrol group, which is promoting eco-awareness amongst amateur cyclists. They are also pedalling recycling (apologies for the puns), wherever appropriate and green waste solutions. There are penalties, now, in the Cycling Regulations for tossing things about in a dangerous or illegal fashion. These fines are not preventing this behaviour in the race, however, according to the environmentalists. The competing cyclists drink their fluids from the water bottles and then cast them aside like unwanted foreign objects.

It is the television cameras that have shined the spotlight on the behaviour of racing cyclists in this national event. As the cameras pan over glorious hillsides ablaze with wild flowers against the backdrop of green fields, the multi-coloured peloton  and their roadside fans are seen to be leaving trash in their wake. The more conscientious witnesses among the television audience are looking at more than just the race order and struggle for triumph by competing cyclists. It is tempting to utter the words ‘kill joys’, but that would be equally churlish I am sure, in the face of their apparently warranted concerns. After all, we all want a clean race, especially after Lance Armstrong and all those used syringe casings.