Protestors pledge to target Team Ineos at Tour de Yorkshire launch

Posted on: March 20th, 2019

protestors Ineos Tour de Yorkshire

Protestors to target Team Ineos at Yorkshire launch: Team Sky’s ocean plastics campaign kit for last year’s Tour. Its new backer is Ineos, which has attracted a lot of opposition over the chemicals it produces, including plastics.

 

Anti-fracking campaigners have said they plan to protest at the Tour de Yorkshire against Ineos taking over Team Sky’s sponsorship.

The chemicals company owned by Sir Jim Ratcliffe is set to take over from Sky as team sponsor from May 1st.

It was announced on Tuesday its first race under its new name would be the Tour de Yorkshire.

However, environmental groups are unhappy that a company which produces chemicals, including those that make plastics, is backing the cycling team.

And because Ineos has the rights to use the controversial fracking technique, protestors are expected to target the team at the race.

One prominent campaigner said he also expects similar protests at the World Road Championships, also in Yorkshire, in September.

The development will be a worry for the squad as it has already been dogged by controversy related to TUEs.

Furthermore, the delivery of a jiffy bag to the team in France in 2011, and lack of medical records to prove what was in it, was another among many controversies to hit he WorldTour outfit in recent years.

Ineos has the rights to frack in some areas of Britain, though it has yet to begin the process.

“No doubt there will be protests,” said Steve Mason of Free Frack United. He described as “astounding hypocrisy” Ineos backing Team Sky.

 

 

Last year during the Tour de France, when the team had been under immense pressure over Chris Froome’s salbutamol test at Vuelta 2017, the team unveiled a new sponsorship related to ocean plastics.

However, Ineos is a major producer of the chemicals that make plastics; something that has generated much comment online over the past 24 hours.

“The hypocrisy is astounding and the greenwashing of their image is scandalous,” Mason said of Ineos backing the team.

Greenwashing is the process by which companies regarded as having an adverse impact on the environment seek to offset that by sponsoring environmentally positive causes or interests, or those with a green image – such as sports teams.

Other cycling sponsors – including the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain – have been accused of sportswashing; backing sporting causes to offset or minimise their human rights record.

 

Previous Ineos problems

Free Frack United’s Mason continued: “I for one will not be letting my kids watch cycling anymore with Team Ineos taking part and I won’t be alone.

“No doubt there will be protests around the Tour de Yorkshire and the World Championships to be held in Yorkshire later this year.”

The company’s take-over of Team Sky is not he first time Ineos backing a green sport has sparked opposition.

Last year Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace wanted Ineos banned from sponsoring Sir Ben Ainslie’s 2021 America’s Cup team. It put £110 million into the team at the time.

However, Ainslie defended the relationship saying Ineos was committed to protecting the environment. He pointed out the chemicals giant was tackling ocean pollution.

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