Lifestyle Environment 09 Jun 2019 WWF states France as ...

WWF states France as the biggest producer of plastic waste in the Mediterranean

AFP
Published Jun 9, 2019, 2:19 pm IST
Updated Jun 9, 2019, 2:19 pm IST
France, biggest producer of plastic waste in the Mediterranean, according to WWF.
France produced 4.5 million tons of plastic waste in 2016, or 66.6 kg per person, according to this report published on the eve of World Oceans Day.
 France produced 4.5 million tons of plastic waste in 2016, or 66.6 kg per person, according to this report published on the eve of World Oceans Day.

Paris: France is the country around the Mediterranean that produces the most plastic waste, of which more than 10,000 tons land in this semi-enclosed sea, according to a report released Friday by the WWF.

France produced 4.5 million tons of plastic waste in 2016, or 66.6 kg per person, according to this report published on the eve of World Oceans Day. While 98% of the total (4.4 million tonnes) was collected, only 22% was recycled. The remaining 2% of plastic waste generates "the escape of 80,000 tons of plastic in nature", of which 11,200 tons "penetrate into the Mediterranean", calculated the NGO.

 

According to the WWF, fishing, aquaculture and shipping account for 9% of this pollution. "The crab pots, the mould nets, the containers are among the debris found," says the environmental NGO. Rivers carry 12% of plastic waste found at sea. Coastal activities account for most of the pollution (79% or 8,800 tonnes) in the Mediterranean from France, "due in particular to poor waste management and pollution. impact of tourism and leisure activities ".

The concentration of plastic debris is particularly high near Marseille, Nice and Corsica, which can be explained in part by "tourism and leisure activities". Another factor is that the waste recycling system is less efficient in the Mediterranean departments. "The landfill rate is particularly high in certain areas" such as Marseille and Corsica, with the presence of open dumps, says WWF.

This plastic pollution, besides its impact on fauna and flora, has a significant cost, warns the report: the impact for fishing is estimated at 12 million euros (plastic debris in boat engines or nets), 21 million for maritime trade (entanglement in propeller blades, collisions ...) and 40 million for tourism. The cost of cleaning the coast is estimated at 3 million.

It is necessary to reach "zero leaks in nature" and "to promote the reusable, in particular for the containers", indicates to AFP Isabelle Autissier, president of WWF France. Regarding the promise of Emmanuel Macron to achieve 100% recycled plastics in 2025, "there are a few announcement effects," she judges.

"Everyone is talking about recycling, but we are not familiar with the conditions of recyclability," she says. A better goal, according to her, would be "to say that France will reduce its consumption of plastic" by a certain percentage.

It is essential to reduce the consumption of plastics, but also that "the industrialists propose something else" and that "we collect the waste at the source, on land, in the rivers". The sailor does not believe, however, solutions promising to pick up plastics in the oceans where they land: "We will not comb the sea."

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