Scientists and industrialists collaborate to try to save the Mediterranean

Global warming, excessive fishing, maritime traffic and mass tourism, so many factors that endanger the Mediterranean Sea and that mobilize many scientists and associations.The sentinels of the Mediterranean”, one of the episodes of the fluvial series directed by Frédéric Fougea, broadcast at 10:50 p.m. on France 2, details the various initiatives carried out by these defenders of the environment and, first of all, the of the researchers. Because if the Mediterranean is the largest intercontinental sea, also has the sad privilege of being most polluted in the world. main flagellum: the plastic that covers its seabed it endangers its fauna and contaminates the food chain.

Recently, microparticles have been found in human placentas.”alarm in the documentary the scientist Anne-Leila Meistertzheim, director of thea startup Plastic@Seaincubated at the Banyuls-sur-Mer Oceanological Observatory. “CThe plastic microparticles were found on the child’s side and also on the mother’s side. Which means that there is a transfer in this chain, and the more we try new products, the more plastic microparticles we find in what we eat.

To combat this major problem, scientists are multiplying experiments in order to evaluate and try to reduce the harmfulness of plastic on marine fauna and, consequently, on humans.

If eradicate the 200,000 tons of plastic waste discharged each year into the Mediterranean seems like a utopia, the hope of seeing its toxicity reduced now seems possible thanks to the involvement of certain manufacturers. yesaware of the difficult situation of the environment and aware of their responsibility, they increasingly ask researchers to find solutions to make their products less pathogenic.

This is the case of François Clément-Grandcourt, general manager of the lighters division of the entcover BIC, which commissioned the Plastic@Sea laboratory to carry out a study on the level of plastic toxicity of its products, and which is testified in the documentary. “The goal of science is that it will allow us, by understanding these mechanisms, (…) to improve and limit the harmfulness of lighters when [ils vont] are found in the environment.

Reduce the harmfulness of plastic thanks to manufacturers

After having Submerged these lighters for a year in the Mediterranean, the researchers were able to entrust the industrialist with valuable data. “We noticed that certain tints had a much bigger impact than others anyway, François Clément-Grandcourt confesses. Usually this color [le jaune] it has a relatively significant impact compared to the rest, so this color, we stopped it. We no longer want to have colors in the gamut that are punchy or too punchy compared to what we can get from other tints.”

Combination of skills, scientific innovations, multiplication of associative actions, so many large-scale initiatives carried out in the Mediterranean to try to reconcile nature and human action, and which point to a possible reduction in marine pollution.

* The documentary the sentinels of the Mediterranean, Directed by Frédéric Fougea, it airs at 10:50 p.m. on France 2 on Tuesday, April 12.

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