On Tuesday the 28th of April 2015 in Strasburg (France), European Union deputies formally adopted the European Directive for the limitation of lightweight checkout plastic bags. As a conclusion to months of twisty negotiations between European institutions (the Directive did come close to being abandoned last autumn), its enactment is just the first step as it will actually be brought into force this coming June. Member states will then be given an 18-month time limit to transpose it into their national law.
For the 20th edition of the Ocean Initiatives, a number of the Surfrider Foundation Europe's branches and offices had their hearts set on celebrating this anniversary with ambitious and relevant projects. The Bask Coast Chapter took up the challenge : for five days, from the 18th to the 22nd of March, volunteers organized and animated a descent of the Pau and Adour Gaves (rivers). From Beaucens to Anglet, they spiced up their journey with litter collections and educational animations, making it one of the most outstanding Ocean Initiatives of the inaugural weekend!
From May 8th to 10th, Surfrider Foundation Europe will take part in the European Clean Up Day. On the European Commission’s initiative, this event takes place in the context of […]
Olga Kisseleva has been chosen by Surfrider Foundation Europe to hold its first artist residency. Founder of the Art & Science lab at Université Paris 1 - Panthéon-Sorbonne, she is a pioneer of contemporary art, and is also involved in new arising forms of digital creations. Surfrider wishes to benefit from its involvement in the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21), which will take place this fall in Paris, by connecting her artwork to its expertise on the role of the oceans in climate regulation, the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems and the individual and collective solutions which humankind can put in place to protect them. Nature and artifice, geographic areas and virtual spaces, civic contributions and global implications will be the main themes addressed in this art installation which will explore new models of dynamic presentation and collaborative story-telling narratives. While preparing for the COP21, the aim remains unchanged: make the public question its own implication in a constantly changing environment.
Spring 2015 has not been the best for smokers so far, whether it be in the North or in the South of France! While the city of Paris decreed at the end of March that double fines will now punish the dumping of cigarette butts (as well as any other kind of trash) on the street, the city council of Biarritz made it public on the 20th of April that “Tobacco free areas” would be created in town; this decision was confirmed on the 24th. The term “Tobacco free area” refers to a label newly crafted by French Cancer League, which has not been much implemented yet: with Biarritz’s initiative, it will be premiering on the Bask coast. Among the designated zones is Port-Vieux beach, which is close to the town centre and attracts many families. Apart from the problem of tobacco as a public health issue, this measure raises the question of litter on our beaches. As a matter of fact, cigarette butts are just as harmful to the environment as they are commonly found in it. What are the best ways of fighting this battle?
Next April 30th begins the eco-citizen adventure of Solène and Léo, a couple of Oceanography students. Their project: a long bike trip down the coasts of France, with a particular focus on coastal heritage and the pollution which endangers the marine environment. Solène and Léo will be biking for roughly two months, from Cherbourg to Biarritz. They will also be stopping along the way to raise awareness among Atlantic coast schoolchildren and lead Ocean Initiatives in partnership with Surfrider Foundation’s local chapters. You can follow their discoveries and eco-citizen actions on their blog, until they arrive in Biarritz on June 21th.
Until the beginning of this year, American company Coca-Cola was showing good will in Germany by distributing a large part of its beverages in reusable bottles, with a reuse capacity of up to 40 cycles. However, the firm recently decided to make a disappointing change in its policy by turning its back on them and reverting to single-use plastic bottles. With the support of Surfrider Foundation Europe, especially Chapter North Germany, and of the German Federal agency for the Environment, consumers and NGO’s are now mobilizing to put pressure on Coca-Cola.