The London Marathon provides 750,000 bottles of water for runners across 23 water stations. Penny Dain, head of communications for the London Marathon, explains that any pallets of unused water are collected and brought back to their storage depots for use at future events. So, no waste there. And “all used bottles, and other waste items from the London Marathon, are collected by waste service teams from the relevant London Borough. All the bottles (together with other recyclables) are split out and recycled.” Gel wrappers are another all-too-common form of litter left lying around by runners and cyclists.
It’s very common for European ultras to require runners to bring their own cup as part of their mandatory kit. This obviously negates the use of plastic cups and bottles altogether. At the Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc (UTMB), it is estimated that this saves the organizers 100,000 disposable cups a year. The Montane Lakeland 100/50 and Centurion Running races have adopted this policy and it would be great if more in the UK started doing it. The only downside is that, towards the end of a long race, your drink may start to taste of a mix of coke, squash and soup – but by that point you won’t be very discerning and all calories are gratefully received. The UTMB also uses tap water as much as possible, which saves around 8,000 plastic bottles per year. It even has special containers at aid stations in which to deposit your used batteries from head torches for recycling.
Source: The Guardian