BiodiversiTerre 2018 - Veolia raised the public’s awareness about the issue of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans

Posted on 13 June 2018.

The BiodiversiTerre event has been held in central Paris for the past two years and aims to reconnect people with nature and remind everyone about their environmental responsibility.

On 2-5 June 2018 Veolia took part in the second ever BiodiversiTerre event during which cows, ducks and sheep took over Place de la République in Paris to the delight of Parisians and tourists alike.
Designed by the artist Gad Weil, the event sought to raise people’s and particularly families’ awareness about major environmental issues by putting nature back at the heart of the city. Eight ephemeral plant tableaux took pride of place in Place de la République and focused on recycling, the circular economy, energy generated by nature, organic food and even “France – the land of milk”. Visitors enjoyed an entertaining stroll around the display, which enabled them to grasp the various environmental issues in a fun and educational way.

World Environment Day takes place on 5 June and BiodiversiTerre is held around that date every year. BiodiversiTerre was also a chance to educate people about World Environment Day 2018’s theme – beating plastic pollution.
Veolia worked with its two partners – the Tara Expeditions Foundation and La Recyclerie - to raise visitor awareness about preserving the oceans over the course of the four-day event.


Educational workshops

In the Veolia area children were invited to free Eco, the baby dolphin, from a net full of plastic bottles. Visitors were also able to admire a massive dolphin made from recycled plastic bottles and built on a structure made of recycled polystyrene foam by the artist Gad Weil. The aim of the artwork was to underline the risks of plastic pollution to oceans and marine biodiversity.
The Tara Expeditions Foundation held an exhibition on plastic pollution in the world’s oceans, highlighting the issue of microplastics. Children could then complete a quiz to learn more about the issue.
Finally, La REcyclerie ran educational workshops. Families had the chance to make plastic flower garlands, crochet with plastic bags, and learn to create a mini urban vegetable garden.

Veolia’s key messages about ocean conservation

BiodiversiTerre was the chance for Veolia to share with visitors its key ocean conservation messages in three specific areas: limiting the usage of single-use plastic (cups, straws, cutlery etc), opting for recycled or recyclable plastics, and above all, sorting waste. This last phase is crucial if circular economy loops are to be set up and waste is to be turned into new resources. “The situation is urgent but the good news is that we can take effective action. Everyone can do something at their own level: individual citizens, local government and businesses”, reiterated Fanny Demulier, Veolia’s CSR communication officer.

Finally, on the event’s last day (5 June), Veolia took part in a roundtable discussion organised by the UN. Amélie Rouvin, Veolia’s Circular Economy Manager, presented the group’s strategy for combating marine pollution. A resume of this conference and our strategy can be found in this article