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Environmental news in France for January 2021

Dordogne hunting federation to help preserve a wetland, eco-responsible children’s clothing brand launched in Vienne and more

Illegal pesticides probe in Normandy

20 people in Manche, Normandy, have been questioned by police following an investigation into the trafficking of certain banned pesticides.

Among those quizzed are 14 maraîchers (fruit and vegetable market gardeners) who are accused of using phytosanitary products outlawed back in 2018.

In all, 20 people have been interviewed, some of them while in custody in Coutances. The majority of those implicated, said the public prosecutor’s office, admitted to the importation and use of prohibited products.

Nearly 80 tons of banned products were illegally imported from Spain and used in the Coutances area. Green news

Hunters help to preserve wetland

A hunting federation in Dordogne has stepped in to help preserve a part of the Beunes valley, a protected wetland.

The reserve, which is home to a wide range of birds, snakes, dragonflies and butterflies, is part of the Natura 2000 classification but has been drying up for the last 15 years.

So the federation bought up plots of land, and now works alongside farmers to keep water flowing into the area.

Marie Auclère, its communications officer, said: “The primary objective of hunters is to take care of nature. This valley is incredibly rich, and action had to be taken to preserve it.

Charitable kids’ clothing firm launches

An eco-responsible children’s clothing brand launched in Vienne, NouvelleAquitaine, raised €5,000 for animal protection charities in its first two weeks.

15% of the purchase price of all items sold by “Animal Kids” – the brainchild of Benoît Richet – goes to a charity of the customer’s choice (among the options are Save the Rhino, Panthera and Oceana).

The firm’s eco credentials extend to its source materials, with all clothes made of organic cotton from European farms.

“We tried to look for cotton production as close as possible to the French territory to limit transport,” M Richet told France Bleu. “We chose Greece and Portugal for our cotton and the clothes are produced locally.”

Hair today, hair tomorrow

Clients at Poitiers hairdressers Mon coiffeur exclusif can now donate their trimmed hair for the creation of wigs for cancer sufferers – provided that it is at least 25 cm long and is not coloured or bleached. All other hair can be recycled, too, into fertilizer or insulation, or to filter hydrocarbons or even to reinforce concrete. The salon also uses vegetable hair dyes to avoid using toxic products.

Mask recycling points in Tours

Authorities in Tours (prefecture of Indreet-Loire) are introducing 100 drop-off points – including town halls and schools – for the recycling of both cloth and disposables mask used by residents during the Covid pandemic.

“We noticed that there were too many masks in the street and that people who wanted to recycle them didn’t necessarily know what to do with them,” said Martin Cohen, the city’s deputy vice-president for waste collection.

Before being recycled, the collected masks will be quarantined and then decontaminated.

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