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“It is necessary to mobilize individual and collective responsibility”, pleads the MEP Catherine Chabaud

The report by MEP Catherine Chabaud on the impact of marine litter on fisheries, which notably provides for an action plan against litter, was adopted Thursday in the European Parliament by a very large majority. “It is really necessary to mobilize individual and collective responsibility”, alerted Friday March 26 on franceinfo Catherine Chabaud, former navigator, MEP Renew.

franceinfo: What are the solutions?

Catherine Chabaud: They are mostly taken from the earth. We must reduce the production of our plastics upstream, but we must also make them fit into a circular economy. Many join the sea via rivers and streams. So, we have to really take an interest in the accumulation zones that are on the rivers. We also identify many offshore.

“Going to clean the sea is useless if you don’t turn off the tap upstream.”

Catherine Chabaud, former sailor, Renew MEP

to franceinfo

Should we recycle this waste?

Yes, and we must prevent it from becoming wild waste. From the moment it is in nature, it has left the circular economy and it is necessary to succeed in bringing it back into it. There is also the problem of plastic microbeads introduced in certain cosmetic products, but this will soon be banned in France. We need to do research to find out what impact this has on the ecosystem and the resource and on health. The report also looks at the waste produced by aquaculturists and fishermen. On the beaches, 27% of the waste found are oyster bags, nets, polystyrene. One of the recommendations we are making is to study the release of polystyrene. There is 1% on the surface, but there is everything inside the water column, in the bottom. There are plastic bottles. The fishermen are themselves the first victims of these impacts, but they themselves are producers, therefore, we must also support the fishermen.

What actions can we do on a daily basis?

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This is one of my big messages. When I saw these plastics at sea I felt responsible. It’s mine, it’s yours, it’s all of us. You have to understand that it is really a subject of link between the land and the sea. If you throw a cigarette butt in Paris, it is likely that one day it will join the sea. So that is why two years ago I launched, with others, a call for the ocean to be recognized as a common good of humanity. There is a real need to mobilize individual and collective responsibility. The masks we wear today have already reached the marine environment. So there is an awareness to be had. It is time to speed up measures to reduce the number of materials that make up certain objects.

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