The ocean, largest lung of the Earth: learn more about the ocean thanks to the Ocean and Climate platform!

The Ocean and Climate 2015 platform was founded in 2014 by a number of actors from the civil society, including Surfrider Foundation Europe, all of which are concerned with putting the ocean in the center of negotiations and international measures on climate. With COP 21 approaching (the United Nations conference on climate change to be held in Paris in December, which will define the next international commitments), the platform is more than ever set on making its slogan heard: “an ocean in good health is a protected climate!” The first achievement of this group is a range of information and awareness-raising tools that will allow you not only to follow them, but also to learn more about the oceans, their role in the climate and the threats which are looming above them

It’s in the bag! E.U. deputies enact European Plastic Bag directive

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.

Should cigarettes be banned from our beaches ?

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?

Bicycles, Marine litter and Education: Follow the Cycl’océane journey!

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.

Coca-Cola giving up on reusable bottles in Germany

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.