I share the opinion of the OP.
Did two sportives just recently.
First the Ride with Brad and then the Tour Ride from Peebles to Drumlanrig.
On both I was utterly amazed at the amount of rubbish discarded by riders. On the Tour Ride I had the misfortune to follow a group of about 8-10 riders from a cycling club in Annan (all wearing black & yellow club jerseys). The amoung of gels they discarded in a few kms was awful.
Sadly they were traevlling a bit too quick for me to catch up with them otherwise I'd have tried to reason with them.
I also rode a section of the Tour de Ben Nevis ride yesterday (the event having taken place on Saturday). Again the amount of rubbish, which was clearly from cylists, was terrible.
Whose to blame.
1) The cyclists themselves.We pride ourselves on being an environmentaly conscious sport but then shoot ourselves in the foot by this indefensable action.
2) The event organisers. Who should, IMHO, take greater responsibility for cleaning up after the event.
3) The Pro riders. Yes I know the pro events do tidy up after the riders but what you see on the screen will be copied. So to be good role models been seen to discard rubbish sensitively & appropriately.
4) The TV channels. Have you ever seen Eurosport, C5 or ITV4 show clean up ops or even mention them?
Sadly I can't see things changing, all I can do is my small bit and make sure I take all my rubbish away with me. I'll try and make sure all my cycling buddies do likewise and when possibe; take a bit of someone elses crap (are you reading this Annan CC?).