(Picture: oohowaterThe London Marathon is a wonderful thing to behold, but in recent years there’s been a jarring aftermath.
Take a look at the route and after the buzz of seeing people overcome physical obstacles passes, you’ll be unsettled by just how much plastic is on the ground.
We can’t blame the runners. When you’re completing a marathon it’s vital to stay hydrated, so when you’re handed water you have to drink it. Once you’re done, you’re likely to chuck the container on the ground as it’s too tricky to run while carrying any rubbish.
Hence a load of plastic bottles and cups littering the ground after every major run.
This year will be different.
For the 2019 London Marathon, organisers are swapping bottles and cups of water for pouches crafted from seaweed.
The pouches of water, made by Skipping Rocks Lab, have a thin membrane holding the water that’s both edible and tasteless, meaning runners can bite a hole in the capsule, guzzle the water inside, then swallow the cover.
If runners don’t fancy eating their pouch, they can chuck it on the floor – the pods biodegrade within six weeks, which is far more environmentally friendly than plastic’s degrading time of hundreds of years.
When runners hit mile 23 they’ll be handed pods instead of a bottle, and energy drinks will be served in compostable cups at two drink stations.
The marathon won’t be entirely plastic-free, as at other spots along the route there will be water bottles available, but organisers have guaranteed that all water bottles handed out this year will be at least partially made of recycled plastic, and that all discarded bottles will be collected and recycled.
The total number of plastic bottles used for the race will go from 920,000 in 2018 down to 704,000 this year. A pretty decent decrease, we say – slow and steady wins the race.
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