Green news: February

Latest environmental, ecological and gardening news from France

Recycling project is in the can

On average, a French person consumes 76 cans of fizzy drink or beer every year, often bought at lunchtime with a sandwich from a fast-food retailer. Usually, the aluminium cylinders end up incinerated after being thrown in a standard rubbish bin. To combat this trend, a graduate from Toulouse Business School, Charles Dauzet, has created Can’ivor, a collection point for used canettes.

His small business manufactures the collectors out of large recycled oil drums which are then set up at the shops. Every week, Mr Dauzet picks up the collected cans and takes them to a metal collector, who buys them back for €200 euros per tonne. However, since it takes 50,000 of them to make a tonne he needed another income stream – so he also sells prominent advertising space on the front of the bins to local businesses.

Toulouse already has a dozen Can’ivor collection bins in place. “It has the advantage of reducing the size of our garbage cans, because that’s what takes up the most space,” said a spokesman from PikNik on rue Romiguières.

Keep fit and collect waste

Nicolas Lemonnier, the Nantes jogger who caught the eye of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg when he created the running and waste-collection group Run Eco Team on the social media platform, has launched an app, which includes a global waste counter. “At the moment, we expect to collect an average of 19 tonnes per week” he told HuffPost.

See for information.

Sparrows disappearing from city

Three-quarters of domestic sparrows (moineaux) in Paris are thought to have disappeared between 2003 and 2016, according to a study by the Centre ornithologique Ile-de-France (Corif) and the Ligue de protection des oiseaux (LPO).

Over thirteen years, during the nesting season (late March to early April), 50 volunteers took turns to count all the sparrows they observed. The data collected at 200 randomly drawn observation points was then processed by the Museum of Natural History (

The presence of sparrows is inversely related to property price per square metre, researchers observed. “This is particularly the case in the 11th arrondissement, which in a few years has gone from being a working-class district to a fashionable, upscale neighbourhood,” said Frédéric Malher, president of Corif.

The two main causes are urban renewal destroying nesting spots and lack of food. LPO encourages residents to install nesting boxes on their balconies.

Village to become self-sufficient

In a first for France, by November 2018 Marmagne, a village with 2,000 residents in Cher, will itself produce on average 70% of the electricity consumed by its administrative buildings. Around 800 solar panels will be installed on the roofs of the town hall, school, canteen and gymnasium and will generate 226,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh).

While other villages like Plélan-le-Grand in Brittany produce their own electricity, they feed it into the EDF grid. But under a new ‘collective self-consumption’ law Marmagne is the first to self-sustain. However, if the sun does not shine, the national grid will kick in.