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Project update: partners meet in Brest

Preventing Plastic Pollution partners visited the busy seaside city of Brest in Brittany last month (18 -21 October 2022) for the final crossborder project meetings. The event hosted by Brest Métropole was packed with 3 days of presentations, lively discussions and workshops, including:

  • Preliminary results for the microplastic sampling campaigns lead across the project area
  • Presentation of interventions like the retention nets which have been installed in Brest and the Baie of Douarnenez
  • Updates on the mapping tools being developed to track plastic across river catchments and map hotspots, this also included a presentation of the ActiDrift simulation developed by Actimar
  • Updates on the city wide ‘macarons’ campaign ‘Ici commence la mer’ which has been rolled out into other catchments in Brittany and will be replicated in Plymouth.

Day 2 was topped by a really inspiring visit to Mé-GO!, a company which recycles cigarette filters to create urban furniture for the public realm such as ashtrays and benches. The purpose of producing visible products in the public realm acts as a campaign to encourage smokers to change their habits of just dropping cigarette butts onto the ground. So, the initiative is to find a way to process and recycle one of the most littered items into something new and useful, but mainly to prevent plastic pollution from reaching and polluting the natural environment.

Another highlight for many partners was some of the food including a delicious buffet lunch catered by Le Jardin de Gwenn, a café signed up to Brest Métropole’s plastic reduction charter ‘Objéctif Zéro Plastique’. And let’s not forget the Kig ha farz , a traditional Breton dish, which translates as ‘meat and stuffing’, a meal which resulted in us all being delightfully stuffed!

As we enter the final phase of the project discussions are turning towards the future of Preventing Plastic Pollution and how partners can continue to build on the research, interventions and different platforms and tools which have been developed over the years. We look forward to sharing our results and guidance on our interventions with you all next year.

A bench made from recycled cigarette filters modelled by The Rivers Trust technical analyst Josh

Local partners Epab, Labocea, Océanopolis & PNMI enjoying their Kig ha farz

An example of equipment used at public events to show some of the alternatives to plastic