Recycling ahoy! New life for old boats

It could almost be the scene of a picture postcard: old boats dotted around the French coastline, moving with the tide. But their environmental impact is a lot less charming. Most boats are made of fibreglass, plastics and resins, making them difficult to recycle. But is there another way? Can sustainable boating set sail? We take a closer look in this edition of Down to Earth.

A graveyard for boats

Located at the very end of a tiny peninsula, Gâvres is a typical picturesque town in Brittany, France. Boats stranded along the shore at low tide are a common sight. But as you get closer, hulls turned upside down, worn paint and mould growing on the derelict boats tell a different story.

Some are wooden, from the 20th century. Others are a lot more recent and made of plastic. What they both have in common is that they have been dumped there by the owners, turning a quiet beach into an eerie marine graveyard.

According to Vassilis Spyratos from the Morbihan Sea and Land Agency, this is just one example among many across France. A clean-up operation will soon begin in Gâvres to remove the abandoned boats, sponsored by local authorities.

And Gâvres is not an exception. There are many others like it along France's coastline.


Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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