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Green news in France - March 2019

An update on environmental events and occurrences in France: eco-responsible eateries, pesticide warning and waste dumping.....

Award for eco-responsible eateries

A new restaurant labelling system to reward eateries with a healthy environmental stance has been launched.

The Association Écotable cites as its raison d’être “the need to eat better, in a way that is more respectful of our health and the environment”. Using a list of precise criteria that take into account all types of environmental impact, they judge restaurants on levels of commitment.

“A growing number of French people want to eat organic, local food, limit waste or sort their waste at home. But they put these principles aside when they go to restaurants,” says founder Fanny Giansetto.

The process to obtain a label (from one to three ‘medals’) is stringent: the restauranteur must answer an online questionnaire, send one month’s bills and be available for an interview in his establishment.

“It starts with the content of the plate,” says Ms Giansetto. “The percentage of plants and organic produce in dishes, respect for the seasons, the use of local sourcing and the absence of threatened fish species on the menu.”

Next, practical elements are considered: efforts made on water and energy consumption, waste sorting, food waste,
the recycling of bio-waste and the use of ecological cleaning products.

On going to press, nine restaurants have already been listed, while ten others are in the process of being listed. See


Vineyard school in pesticide warning

A project to build a new school at Parempuyre, Gironde faces a fresh challenge following the discovery nearby of pesticides including endosulfan, an insecticide banned in France since 2008.

Particle analyses showed the presence of different pesticides in two houses located near a vineyard where the lycée is to be built by 2022. Researchers found eight pesticides in the living room of one house, and eighteen in the garage of the other.

Environmental association Info Médoc Pesticides is calling for “either the conversion of the operator concerned (Château Clément Pichon) to organic farming or to find another location for this college.” Parti Socialiste mayor Béatrice de François has called for a police investigation.

The project has previously drawn criticism because of its proximity to vineyards. “The entrance to the college will be 20 metres from the vineyard,” notes Ludovic Coutant, who heads a collective of parents fighting the project.

On the question of pesticides, the departmental representative Christine Bost said she took the subject very seriously, but said that traces of them could be found “almost everywhere, including in urban areas”.


Cheap waste dumping has heavy price

Unscrupulous ‘waste management’ firms and individuals are using websites such as Le Bon Coin to offer cut-price removal of hazardous waste, for example asbestos, and then dumping the toxic rubbish illegally.

An investigation by France 2 found that at a dumping site in Carrières-sous-Poissy (Yvelines), for months a succession of vans unloaded waste illegally and at no cost for its treatment.

A tracking slip must even be issued for asbestos dumping, but one of the dumpers interviewed said: “I come to the landfill, I know a guy, he lets me pass this.”

“We don’t intervene,” said Le Bon Coin.

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