Sports often provide a good voice to address issues of global concern, such as climate change.
A major challenge in addressing climate change is the reduction in the use of single use plastic. This pollution not only threatens marine life and food security but also impacts sports from surfing and sailing to hiking, cycling, running and even skiing, as it damages the natural environment on which they depend.
A prominent initiative to reduce the use of single use plastics is being led by 2016 Rio Olympic Sailing gold medallist Hannah Mills. In September 2019, she launched the Big Plastic Pledge which calls on athletes and fans to reduce the use of single-use plastic in their daily lives by pledging to at least three actions, such as using refillable water bottles, refusing plastic packaging and encouraging sports clubs and event organizers to find alternatives to single-use plastic.
Mills-a decorated sailor having won the silver medal at the Olympic Games London 2012, and a gold medal at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 has been a first-hand witness to the catastrophic impact of plastic pollution on the world’s ocean.
She said of her motivation, “I witnessed first-hand the devastating effects of plastic pollution on our oceans and planet. Every beach, marina and coastal area we visited during that 4-year period was affected and damaged beyond belief. So much of it was single use plastic. It was something I couldn’t ignore anymore, I had to act”.
The campaign is supported by The International Olympic Committee, as part of its commitment under the UN Clean Seas Initiative.
Erik Solheim, the Executive Director of the UN Environment and a member of the IOC Sustainability and Legacy Commission said, “this is the biggest commitment ever made from sport to address plastic pollution.
FIS encourages all of its stakeholders to join the movement and to sign up to make the Big Plastic Pledge.
For more information, visit: https://bigplasticpledge.com/