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Published on September 24 2023

A Watertrek on the Marne between Germiny and Meaux

4 stand-up paddlers, Stéphane, Serge, and Saïd from Ecosup xplorers and Séverine, from Watertrek set off to explore the Marne river. Kickstarting the expedition at Germiny-L’Evêque, the group paddled 17km all the way to Meaux.

The objective of the expedition was familiar: locate plastic waste to better determine its source. The paddlers were equipped with Surfrider’s Android app: Plastics Origins. This enabled the group to record the areas where waste accumulated.

The trip was surprisingly calm given the rich biodiversity attributed to this area. The team observed 10 grey herons and a buzzard, as well as a couple of swans. No fish were noticeable from the river’s surface.

During the watertrek, the team found a large proportion of plastic bottles, as well as bulks of polystyrene, some blow-up toys, food wrapping, a ball, some cans, an extinguisher, and a garden sprinkler. Some larger objects such as insulation boards and a fridge were also located. The retrieved waste was unloaded at our arrival point.

To raise awareness and explore solutions, written findings were shared with local authorities and the CEREMA (Centre for Studies on Risks, the Environment, Mobility and Urban Planning).

Eight million tons of plastic end up in the ocean every year, 80% of this originates from land and is carried by rivers, so it's vital to act upstream and raise awareness on the impact of plastic waste and pollution.

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