At a glance 2 min

Recycled plastic stands for the 2024 Olympic Games

The organisers of the 2024 Olympic Games have announced that they intend to halve the greenhouse gas emissions emitted by the last Olympics in Rio (2016) and London (2012).
Recycled plastic stands for the 2024 Olympic Games
Recycled plastic stands for the 2024 Olympic Games

Numerous initiatives have been undertaken to make this a reality, one of which is the production of 11,000 recycled plastic foldable seats that will be used in the stands at the Saint-Denis Olympic Aquatic Centre (Ile-de-France) and Arena 2 (Paris 18th arrondissement). These venues are currently under construction and will host the Olympic swimming and badminton events.

These seats were developed by the start-up Le Pavé® using its flagship product, an eco-material called SoftSurface™.

SoftSurface™ is made from plastic waste, both post-industrial (generated during a product’s manufacturing cycle before its consumption, for example, production offcuts) and post-consumer (obtained from sorted waste such as shampoo bottles, cans or caps).

From waste to outstanding material

This plastic waste is crushed and transformed via a secret thermocompression process, and it requires no added resin, chemical additives or colourants. One hundred percent recycled and recyclable, SoftSurface™ has a unique texture and comes in large 140 × 90 cm sheets with a thickness of 5 to 15 mm. Flexible and resistant to water and stains, these sheets can be worked and used for various purposes, such as wall and floor coverings, worktops, counters, desk tops, furniture and other objects.

These sheets will now take the form of seats for the first time as Le Pavé® has been selected by Bouygues Construction and the city of Greater Paris to help design the stands at the Olympic pool and Arena 2. This is a real technical challenge for the start-up, and it has joined forces with specialists in thermoforming. Together, they have succeeded in producing high-performance, attractive seating with long-term resistance to retraction, chlorine, and UV.

A regional circular economy project

One hundred tonnes of recycled plastic were required to produce the 11,000 Olympic seats, meaning the same amount of virgin raw materials were ultimately not extracted. Eighty percent of the plastic waste was collected from inhabitants and schools local to the area that will host the Olympic pool (3,000 seats) and Arena 2 (8,000 seats). Ten million caps have also been collected, equivalent to 20 tonnes of plastic, thanks to Lemon Tri, a local company that offers intelligent, incentive-based, “reverse vending machines”.

A sustainable and recyclable product

With SoftSurface™, Le Pavé® has committed to a circular economy and has considered every stage in its products’ life cycle to ensure it maintains the smallest possible ecological footprint.
“First and foremost, we created a sustainable eco-construction material with no chemical additives or colourants. Then, we created a recyclable eco-construction material to completely avoid waste at end-of-life.”

This is a groundbreaking way of utilising plastic waste and minimising the carbon impact of the construction sector, which generates 23% of French greenhouse gas emissions.

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