In Charente-Maritime, oyster farmers are innovating to recycle their waste

In Charente-Maritime, oyster farmers are innovating to recycle their waste

As tons of plastic oyster farming equipment pile up, oyster farmers in Charente-Maritime may have finally found a solution. The plastic collected can be transformed into parking slabs that filter water.

Charente-Maritime oyster farmers are committed to the environment, and they want to let it be known. “When we work in the marine environment, we like the sea to be preserved. For the well-being of our oysters, but also for ours“, assures Julien Léger, oyster farmer in Bourcefranc-le-Chapus. The waste related to its activity is a real subject.

Pockets, cups or baskets, hard plastic oyster farming equipment has a lifespan of 5 to 10 years. “By handling them, we damage them and after a while, we can no longer repair them so we have to renew the stock“, says Julien Léger. A few years ago, a company started recycling this waste, before ceasing its activity with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Subsequently, the oyster farmers deposited their used equipment in the recycling center, but were not “not necessarily welcome“. Some professionals thus find themselves with a large stock of special waste with no real possible way out.

Tons of plastic that pile up and that can sometimes be found washed up on the beaches. What we find on the beaches is not just the oyster farmers who throw it away, often it’s that there’s a storm and it goes adrift before running aground. People think we dump all our trash, but nowants to clarify Charlotte Rhone, environmental manager at the Regional Shellfish Committee 17. In these cases, we lose our product too. It was therefore necessary to find a solution to be as clean as possible.“And this solution, the Regional Shellfish Committee thinks it has found: recycle plastic waste into parking slabs.

This is the innovation offered by Purple Alternative Surface. Several recycled plastic tiles with a space that allows water to seep into the floors. “It’s a double benefit because it filters the water and stores it rather than ending up with dirty water that trickles down to the sea or the rivers”, rejoices Charlotte Rhone.

In a few weeks, the oyster farmers in the area will be able to deposit all this plastic waste directly – with the exception of PVC waste – at Terre-Mer Chantiers in Marennes, an integration site. There, the plastic will be crushed and transferred directly to Purple Alternative Surface’s factory.

It remains for the innovative slabs to find takers. Guy Proteau, the mayor of Bourcefranc-le-Chapus has made available 3 parking spaces in his municipality to experience it. “We are the most important oyster port in the department and it seemed important to us to promote thisunderlines the aedile. We must also make known new practices, because oyster farmers no longer work as they did years ago, and really care about ecology and the environment.” Very satisfied, Guy Proteau has already announced that other parking spaces on the market place will soon be transformed thanks to the slabs recycling oyster waste.