Outrage extended from protestors to politicians today as the Tour de Yorkshire, featuring the newly rebranded Team Ineos, kicked off.
The cycling outfit, formerly known as Team Sky, is now sponsored by the company, which many have condemned for links to fracking and plastic.
Among those to condemn the role played by Ineos was former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett.
“I think it’s really disappointing and disturbing,” she said. If you look at the state of the world now, the UK has now formally declared a climate emergency.”
Bennett said the team were previously publicly against single use plastics, and have gone backwards as regards to the environment
She said: “We’re talking about the Tour de Yorkshire where there’s very, very strong public opposition to fracking and Ineos is trying to force fracking on communities that have clearly said they don’t want them.
“It’s very understandable and right that people are angry and I’m glad that people are out protesting showing that anger.”
Also concerned over developments was Extinction Rebellion Sheffield’s Nathan Strathdee, who worries about the effects of fracking across South Yorkshire.
“It’s a fiasco. Ineos are one of the biggest plastic producers in the world, also foisting fracking upon local communities throughout South Yorkshire against their will,” he said.
“They’re polluting their water, polluting our land, and contributing to the climate crisis. There’s nothing good about them sponsoring the team – they’re trying to get some good publicity, while they’re destroying local communities.”
Strathdee told JUS News sport and politics are “fundamentally” linked when companies such as Ineos are involved in the sponsorship and financial side.
He said the team could choose a more environmentally conscious sponsor, and there can be “no middle ground” between communities facing misery and companies maximising profits.
JUS News has contacted Team Ineos for comment.