Molières-Cavaillac, France

10/11/11

Following the heavy floods of November 2011, a rainwater duct broke, and thousands of plastic bags and other litter ended up stuck in trees along the river bank over a distance of 15 km. In this case, the fault did not lie with the waste disposal site, as for the past 10 years, household waste has only passed this place in transit. However, before that, litter was being buried at this site for 20 years. It was a catastrophe for the landscape and an ecological disaster, as numerous living species were affected.


The Keeper acted fast. The first clean-up operations of the river banks were carried out at the end of November and at the beginning of December, each time mobilising around one hundred volunteers. Mobilisation against this pollution was strong, and the new Surfrider Languedoc-Roussillon Chapter firmly supported the Keeper in his battle.

This case went beyond the usual battles, as the Keepers of the Coast programme allowed the mobilisation of volunteers to clean the banks of the River Arre. Among the volunteers were canoeists, speleologists and fishermen, as well as a group of students. Between 300 and 400 rubbish bags were filled during the clean-up operations, which covered an area of 30 km in length. The operation was successful, but an issue still remains: The water flow under the waste disposal site needs to be diverted to avoid any more litter being washed out.


more on the theme

Marine Litter

8 million tons of waste are thrown into the ocean each year – 80% of which is plastic.

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