Free the Ocean Blog

The 2024 Paris Olympics' Recycling Triumph!

The Summer Olympics in Paris is always a show-stopper, but 2024 promises something extraordinary even before the games begin – the seats you’ll be sitting on! Crafted from locally recycled plastic, these seats are sustainability champions in their own right.

Seating with a Story

The bulk of the plastic, about 80% of the required 100 metric tons, was sourced directly from Seine-Saint-Denis. Two ingenious companies, Lemon Tri and Le Pavé, kept the entire process—from collection to processing—in the neighborhood, making it a community-driven recycling initiative.

Worry about the seat quality? Absolutely not! These plastic benches aren’t just another run-of-the-mill recycle job. They’ve been tested rigorously for UV and fire resistance, toxicity, and even mechanical resistance to ensure they won’t budge even if subjected to robust spectator interactions!

A Lesson in Recycling

Le Pavé and Lemon Tri had to get innovative when they ran into a scarcity of new plastics. The solution was literally under their noses: soda bottle tops. A whopping 5 million of these humble items were shredded to form the building blocks of the Olympic seating.

This innovative project is a practical demonstration of the magic of recycling. By transforming discarded bottles into Olympic pool seats, it makes the recycling journey tangible, particularly for the younger generation.

But this endeavor is just a slice of the larger sustainability pie that Paris and France have envisioned. They are committed to reducing downstream emissions by 50% compared to the 2012 and 2016 games, taking a firm stand against environmental degradation.

The most daring initiative? Restoring the health of the Seine to make it swimmable for the first time in decades, turning it into a picturesque venue for the triathlon. The recent water quality tests have been encouraging, delighting Parisians who can now swim in their iconic river again.

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