Galapagos: 22 tons of waste collected on the coast to protect the islands

A total of 22 tons of garbage stranded on the shores of the Galapagos Islands have been collected since January, and will be studied to see how to better protect these islands that include so many endemic species that they had inspired Darwin's theory

This figure was announced this weekend by the authorities of the Galapagos National Park, who explained that the waste, which sometimes arrives from as far as Asia, would be examined to verify in particular if they do not bring invasive animal species.

 View of Turtle Bay, on the island of Santa Cruz, to the Galapagos (AFP - Pablo COZZAGLIO)

View of Turtle Bay , on the island of Santa Cruz, to the Galapagos (AFP – Pablo COZZAGLIO)

Ecuador, country to which belong these islands of the Pacific situated to a thousand kilometers of its coasts, is indeed determined to protect the Galapagos, with his giant tortoises, his manch ots and innumerable other species do not exist elsewhere.

The national park, established in 1959, protects 97% of the island's area, and a 138,000 km² marine reserve was also created around the islands, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1978.

And all fishing is forbidden in a Sanctuary of 38.000 km² between two of the islands, which counts especially the greatest concentration of sharks in the world.

 A hammerhead shark baby near the island of Santa Cruz, to the Galapagos (AFP - Pablo COZZAGLIO)

A baby hammerhead shark near the island of Santa Cruz, Galapagos (AFP – Pablo COZZAGLIO)

Most of the waste in the Galapagos comes from outside, brought by the sea, since only 26,000 people live on all four islands, and the number of visitors is strictly limited

On the islands, the construction is very monitored, we use a maximum of renewable energy and plastic bags are prohibited.

In Le Havre, an old landfill drops waste to the sea

State and local authorities will soon launch a study to try to find a solution to an old dump of Le Havre that discharges "between 30 and 80 m3 per year" of waste in the sea, was learned Friday from the city hall.

The public authorities "agreed at a meeting on Thursday" that it was necessary to update an existing study by evaluating the various possible solutions with the corresponding financial figures ", explained to a correspondent of AFP Marc Migraine, deputy LREM to the mayor of Le Havre in charge of nature in the city The elected official had no details on the launch date of the study

In 2011, a first study was launched at the initiative of the town hall on this old dump of "about 400,000 tonnes of waste", known locally as Dollemard. "The document raised technical barriers and a significant cost to extract waste," said Migraine, indicating "that the scenario of a regular collection was finally retained by the city."

For a complete extraction of the waste and the restoration of the site, the study, which the AFP could consult, counted on a cost excluding tax between 17 and 21.5 million euros. And she pointed, among others, the risk of "destabilization of the cliff" in case of excavation.

Meanwhile, according to Jean-François Samson, the Sea Shepherd Association Le Havre, we find waste Dollemard " to Boulogne-sur-Mer or, closer, in the heart of the natural reserve of the estuary of the Seine ".

"The implementation of a final solution will take time," admits Marc Migraine. But the city of Le Havre has "without waiting to make the decision to strengthen the measures of collection."

"The file returned to the table on the occasion of the last storm Eleanor," said Samson. The beach was covered with trash, and local ecologists are back on the track. "We can not continue this way, we must find a lasting solution to this problem," said Alexis Deck, EELV city councilor in the city of Le Havre.

Solicited, the sub-prefecture of Le Havre did not wish to do of comments at this stage.

Historical dump of the city of Le Havre, the site closed at the end of the 90s. According to the city, "80% are inert and the remaining 20% ​​are, essentially, constituted of scrap and plastics. "

In Bali, a diver films an ocean of plastic waste

Ah, Bali … its white sand beaches, its volcanic reliefs … and its hundreds of marine litter. The splendid turquoise waters of "the island of the gods" look more and more like a plastic discharge . Rich Horner is the witness. An amateur diver, he filmed in March 2018 one of his marine trips to Manta Point, on the small island of Nusa Penida. The waters of this island in the Balinese province are usually popular for their rich manta rays. The tourist had the unpleasant surprise of being in the middle of a bench of plastic waste. On Facebook the Briton comments his video with a sarcastic message: "The currents of the ocean brought us a beautiful gift with jellyfish, plankton, leaves, branches, palms, stems, etc. Oh, and plastic. " The image is impressive, especially when a manta ray and a jellyfish cross the field. And the diver to bid: "Plastic bags, still plastic bags, plastic, plastic, so much plastic!"

And these wastes represent only a part of the iceberg. Gede Hendrawa, researcher in oceanography at Udayana University in Bali, pollution alert on a smaller scale. "Wastes disturb the tourists from an aesthetic point of view but the problem of plastic is much more serious than that: microplastics can contaminate fish which, if eaten by humans, can cause problems health like cancer ".

The diver's experience is far from a single episode. It highlights an already well-known phenomenon in Bali, whose reputation pales by the growing presence of rubbish on its beaches. Local authorities have declared the island of 4 million inhabitants in "state of emergency waste" in November 2017. Nearly 700 cleaning employees and 36 trucks are mobilized every day. the shore of Kuta Beach. The problem, however, is of greater magnitude: Indonesia is the second largest producer of plastic marine litter after China. This represents 1.29 million tonnes thrown into the sea every year! With its 17,000 or so islands, the largest archipelago has pledged in 2017 to the UN to reduce its marine pollution by 70%. Manta rays will appreciate the gesture.

Waste banned from China: positive effect for French papermakers, vigilance on quality

China's decision last year to stop importing certain types of waste, including paper for recycling, has had a positive effect for the French paper industry, which thus has more raw material, but wants to be vigilant about quality

The Chinese measure "has put back on the market quantities of paper and cardboard to recycle that we sometimes lacked," said Agnès Roger, president of the professional federation of the paper sector Copacel, presenting Thursday to the press the annual report of this activity.

"We have again the opportunity to have material (first) and therefore it should push industrial production," she said. But she stressed that manufacturers should be "vigilant, mainly on the quality" of the papers to be recycled.

For Yves Herbault, vice president of Copacel, "in the short term, for paper manufacturers who use paper and cartons to recycle, overall it is a windfall effect ", especially because of a" positive effect on the accounts, the raw material has decreased significantly. "

" This is an opportunity for all European and French paper manufacturers, "said Herbault. But it evokes "still a number of risks".

"In the medium term, paper manufacturers must be vigilant because collectors will find solutions to meet the needs of China," he said.

The vice president of the federation predicts that collectors "will increase prices and increase their sorting capacity to supply good quality products to China"

We could find in Europe, in France, products of lower quality ", he considered, calling on paper manufacturers to "organize their chains of control much better".

Cigeo: a national debate will take place on nuclear waste

CONSULTATION. Secretary of State for Minister of Environmental Transition Sébastien Lecornu announced on March 7, 2018 that the government would seize the National Commission of Public Debate for the organization of a large national consultation on the future of nuclear waste in the autumn. The announcement comes the day after demonstrations of opponents against the project of burying the most radioactive waste on the Cigeo site in Bure (Meuse) . For Sébastien Lecornu " everything will have to be put on the table to answer the questions that the French are asking ".

In addition to the debate, a website will gather all the technical files, the political contributions, the scientific works and even the press articles devoted to the subject since it emerged in the late 1980s. This resource center will be run by the State via its Directorate-General for Energy and Climate ( DGEC) of the Ministry of Ecological Transition as well as the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) and the Institute of Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) . In addition, a forum for dialogue between experts and civil society will meet each quarter scientists, parliamentarians, unions, NGOs, " and even philosophers ", said Sebastien Lecornu.

A debate without time constraint [19659004] ALTERNATIVES. For the government, it is about getting out of a local conflict and moving towards a national debate on the legacy of the nuclear industry. " The waste is there, generated by four decades of nuclear power generation, we must decide their future and in the current state of the debate, burying in Bure is the least bad solutions " Sebastien Lecornu who is willing to study a reasonable alternative if it emerges. Opponents argue for a shallow storage in order to recover the containers if technical progress allowed to recycle. The secretary of state is pleased that the debate on Cigeo can take place without time constraint since no major stage of the project will take place during this five-year period.

Cigeo has already given rise in 2013 to a public debate circumscribed areas close to the Bure site. It was a fiasco because of the demonstrations preventing the holding of the debates and binding to a retreat on the Internet . Opponents have denounced an empty debate, the decision to make the landfill is – according to them – already taken. By now choosing a national scale, the government hopes – especially thanks to the Internet – to involve all the French and thus give weight to decisions on the future of radioactive waste. So far only pro and anti-Cigeo activists have spoken. The challenge is to make the whole of the national community speak.