After a three-year construction program, the largest 3D-printed concrete artificial reef in the world has been laid in the seaside resort of Agde, in Hérault.
The 105 tonne, 6.5m high reef, whose structure is directly inspired by the natural habitats of the seabed, is primarily intended for scuba diving – the intention being to relieve other natural sites of the harmful impact of poorly controlled diving activities and to protect fragile environments.
Fish and tourism win
The reef is the latest batch produced by the Recif’lab project for the area’s coastline – in 2019, some thirty artificial fish nursery reefs ordered by the city authorities were submerged at a depth of more than 300 meters.
“It’s a win-win,” said Renaud Dupuy de la Granderive, director of the marine protected area.
“We are doing something to protect the marine environment and at the same time, we have an activity par excellence that we can develop in the tourist areas of Cap d’Agde.
Agde had won a national “investment for the future” program piloted by the Ministry for Ecological Transition, with €600,000 invested by the State and local authorities.
Skating rinks and pools emptied to fight the drought
The authorities of the Deux-Sèvres prefecture of Niort took a drastic measure in response to this summer’s drought warning: they melted the municipal ice rink in order to use the water on the city’s green spaces. .
“We have 80 m³ of water to evacuate from the rink. Usually this water is not saved and it goes down the drain,” local green space manager Manuel Gasnier told Francetvinfo.
Some 6,000 trees were planted during the winter to make the heat waves more bearable for the inhabitants.
“We want to provide the public with cool areas during heat waves,” said community leader Philippe Mauffrey.
However, young trees are already suffering from lack of water.
The city’s six public swimming pools will also be drained so that the drained water can be used for watering.
“This allows us to water all the trees we have planted this year,” explains Anthony Brémand, the town’s head gardener.
After-ski cleaning success
Every year at the beginning of summer, once the last snow has melted in the highest ski resorts and villages in the Alps, mass cleanings begin to rid the streets, slopes and forests of the waste deposited by winter visitors.
Such a cleanup took place in early June in Chamrousse (Isère), where around fifty volunteers collected 274 kilos of waste – despite heavy rains and temperatures that never exceeded 7°C.
They spent four hours collecting discarded Covid masks, cigarette butts, tissues and plastic wrappers.
No cigarette butts, it must be better
While companies that manufacture items such as batteries and electrical appliances are already decreed by a 1975 law to take responsibility for the end-of-life disposal of their products, by 2025, 11 “families” of Additional products will be affected by the law, including cigarette butts.
Thanks to the new AGEC law which provides for measures against waste, promoting the circular economy and ensuring producer responsibility, French cities will be able to collect between 50 cents and €2 per inhabitant from cigarette manufacturers, depending on the density of their municipalities.
The “tax” will be used to finance the cleaning of the streets and roads of butts (cigarette butts).
The tobacco industry has already committed to environmentally friendly measures, including raising public awareness, providing more urban ashtrays and recycling cigarette butts.
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