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Saving France’s beaches from a plastic invasion

About five years ago millions of mysterious plastic pieces started appearing on France’s beautiful beaches. They were filters from nearby water treatment plants, where they play a useful role. But when the treatment plants overflow, the plastic filters escape and end up polluting the environment.

One 25-year-old Frenchman heard about the plastic invasion and decided to help protect the coastal environment. As a volunteer with the Surfrider Foundation Europe he’s been picking up as many plastic pieces as he can find. And that’s not all – he’s on a mission to find out where exactly these filters are coming from to hold the polluters accountable.

Listen to the report from Charlotta Lomas in La Teste-de-Buch, France

(first published October 29, 2013):

Charleric Bailly is tracking down the sources of plastic pollution. (Photo: C. Lomas)

Charleric Bailly is not only picking up as many plastic filters as he can find on France’s beaches but also tracking down the sources of plastic pollution. (Photo: C. Lomas)

These small plastic filters, also known as biocarriers, are used in wastewater treatment plants where they play a useful role. But when the treatment plants overflow, the plastic filters escape and end up polluting the environment. (Photo: C. Lomas)
These small plastic filters, also known as biocarriers, are used in wastewater treatment plants where they play a useful role. But when the treatment plants overflow, the plastic filters escape and end up polluting the environment. (Photo: C. Lomas)

Catherine Gonnot, secretary of Surfrider Foundation Gironde, is appreciative of Charlo’s volunteer work. (Photo: C. Lomas)

Catherine Gonnot, secretary of Surfrider Foundation Gironde, is appreciative of Charlo’s volunteer work. (Photo: C. Lomas)

The Surfrider Foundation organizes events like the recent Beach Day at La Teste-de-Buch, France. (Photo: C. Lomas)

The Surfrider Foundation organizes events like the Beach Day at La Teste-de-Buch, France. (Photo: C. Lomas)

 

Date

Tuesday 03.06.2014 | 14:51

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