Every year, 8 to 12 million tonnes of plastics and micro-plastics are dumped into the oceans. The safeguarding of the oceans is played out on land. Today we command the technologies to collect, recycle and recover plastics and wastewater. To transform this waste into resources is to enter into the circular economy. Thanks to this new model, the preservation of the oceans becomes possible. It is a simple decision.
We offer solutions to control water quality, limit pollution sources, including plastic waste in particular, and protect and restore coastlines. Here are a few examples:
Fighting water pollution by micro-plastics
While treatment plants represent a barrier to water pollution, certain types of pollutants are able to get through traditional filtration systems. This is the case with the microfibers used in our clothes. Thus, we launched Ecoseastem, the first ever research program that looks into pollution by microfibers. Operating a purification station at Nice-Haliotis, we teamed up with the Nice Côte d’Azur city authorities, the MED Expédition NGO and the Villefranche oceanographic laboratory.
The aim of the programme is to characterise the pollution caused by plastic microfibers, to assess the impacts of this pollution on the natural ecosystem and to identify the best available technologies to treat this type of pollution, such as dynamic microfiltration.
Controlling discharges of wastewater and rainwater into the natural ecosystem
AQUADVANCED® Urban Drainage proposes a step-wise offer to optimally and transparently manage sanitation systems. The range offers operators and local authorities an all-inclusive tool to protect the environment, people and property, while also achieving an optimal economic balance by anticipating risks of flooding and pollution, protecting the natural environment, cutting operating costs and making use of existing assets and past investments.
Collecting plastic bottles
80% to 90% of the plastic found in the oceans is made of polyethylene, a type of plastic frequently used for packaging. To prevent this waste from ending up in the sea, around 100 supermarkets in France have been transformed into collection centres thanks to the Reco® solution. Residents are invited to drop off their plastic bottles and containers in the car park of their local store in exchange for vouchers. The containers are then sorted and recycled and given a second life.
Another good example of the circular economy is Head & Shoulders which has created the world’s first recyclable shampoo bottle made from beach plastic.
Setting up a pollution control barrier to restore coastlines
The coastline of Casablanca (Morocco) is one of the most industrialiszed in the country, generating pollution mainly due to discharges of raw sewage into the sea. We provided the city with assistance in building the new pollution control system, which is now used to treat all of the city's sewage. 24 kilometres of coastline are now protected and the beaches have been returned to the residents.
Monitoring sea water quality
In Barcelona (Spain), the municipality has installed the COWAMA water quality monitoring system along the city's beaches. This control system is used to identify the main sources of pollution, in real time and to anticipate water quality along the beaches. Using the iBeach app, this information on water quality can be sent to citizens who want to see the water temperature, flag colour, UVA radiation level and even whether jellyfish are present.
In Barcelona, we are running an experiment that consists of using drones to monitor sensitive zones in the region, polluting emissions, confined spaces, water masses and the coastline. When the drones are equipped with thermal cameras, they help us to better understand the interactions between water quality along the coast and human activities that could impact the quality of bathing water.
A worldwide initiative to collect waste on beaches and in rivers
Our suez4ocean web site is inviting as many people as possible (citizens, organisations) to organise and take part in plastic waste collections on coastlines and in catchment basins.
We have also started to engage with all the stakeholders, so that every one of them contributes to the conservation of our oceans. This is why we are working with international institutions and NGOs to take action in favour of our oceans (UNESCO IOC, Expedition Med, Expedition 7th continent, the GoodPlant Foundation).