While the future use and configuration of the Olympic Stadium remain uncertain, the engirdling wrap was only ever intended as a Games-time trimming. Some of the 306 plastic panels that comprise the wrap will be recycled to help disadvantaged people in Rio and Uganda.
The distinctive polyester-based pennants sparked one of the biggest outcries in the build up to the Games, when it emerged that their funding came from Dow Chemicals. The company’s suitability was questioned by some because of its connections to the 1984 Bhopal disaster.
Given these ignominious beginnings, it’s good to hear that the wrap will be put to uses more noble than mere decoration. Twenty of the panels will be donated to charity Article 25, to build sheltered areas at a training and education project in Rio, and a vocational training centre for former child soldiers in Uganda.
The remaining panels will either be reused by British youth projects or ground down for recycling in other ways. However, if the two overseas projects are successful, Dow might pass a few on to other schemes. The steel support cables will also be recycled, for example, on projects to build suspension bridges in Africa.