Green news in France: August 2019

Marseille takes new lead in drag race

Marseille is the latest French city attempting to raise awareness of the polluting effects of dropped cigarette butts that litter its streets.

The association RecyClop is an association that was created with three main aims: raising awareness for changing smokers’ behaviour; collecting cigarette butts; and sending them for recycling.

Their approach has various targets: local authorities, companies, schools, bars and festivals – namely, all places with a high concentration of smokers.

Meanwhile, at the end of May, a complete smoking ban was introduced on the city’s beaches at Borély, de la Pointe Rouge and Bonneveine.

“The main objectives are health, preservation of the environment, cleanliness... a measure of common sense so that everyone can enjoy a moment without being bothered by their neighbour. And this is coming from a smoker,” said Yves Moraine, mayor of the 6th and 8th arrondissements of Marseille. The ban also extends to shicha pipe smokers.

New fuel to reduce cruise ship emissions

Also in Marseille, which suffers heavily from the polluting effects of cruise ships that dock there, the Costa Group has unveiled its first cruise ship powered by liquefied natural gas.

The largest cruise ships currently pollute as much as a million cars due to the fine particles they emit during fuel combustions – emissions that the Costa group promises will be reduced by more than 90% by switching fuel types.

The AIDA Nova liner is 337 metres long, 42 metres wide and has 2,626 cabins.

Marseille is the leading cruise port in France with nearly two million passengers expected in 2019.

Festival for the environment

A new ecology-themed festival at which guests will participate in debates and conferences on current ecological, social and democratic challenges will take place in Gentioux-Pigerolles, Creuse, from August 30 to September 1.

Organised by the La Bascule collective, L’An Zéro (Year Zero) will be composed of several “villages”, with different themes: gastronomy, relaxation and innovations centred on ecology, plus concerts throughout the weekend.

Organisers say they have a headline act ‘that has sold out a Zenith’ and anything between 5,000 and 50,000 people are expected to attend.
Tickets for the festival, which cost €8 per day or €20 for the weekend, are available at

Winter cleanup of discontent

Once the final snow melted in The Hautes-Alpes ski resort of Montgenèvre at the end of April, the village’s annual spring clean-up revealed an astonishing two tonnes of waste left on the ground by tourists.

Armed with rubbish bags and tongs, 60 local volunteers amassed cigarette butts, empty cans and other kinds of waste.

In the Alps, an association oversees several cleaning operations in ski resorts. These missions are called Mountain Days, and they are open to all.

To become a volunteer for Mountain Riders and help in future, you just have to register on their website,