Urgent action is needed to protect seas and oceans
The oceans produce 50% of our oxygen, absorb 1/3 of atmospheric CO2, and are the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world. However, they are being polluted to an unprecedented degree. At the present time, 50% of wastewater is directly discharged into the sea without any treatment, while plastic accounts for 80% of marine waste and can take up to 1,000 years to decompose.
Fighting against land and pollution turning it into resources
Veolia firmly believes that in order to stop oceans being polluted, action must be taken upstream on land-based pollution, which is the source of 80% of marine pollution. Veolia is treating pollution at the land-sea interface and by going back to the source. This method helps reduce regions’ vulnerability and make production methods and consumption patterns circular.
- Treat pollution on the coast and upstream
Veolia collects, treats and recovers wastewater and waste, in this way limiting the amount of pollution discharged into the sea. The Group also helps to clean up coastlines (for instance, via surveillance and checking bathing water quality).
- Prevent and reduce areas’ vulnerability
Veolia rolls out pollution prevention and dynamic management systems to increase the resilience of urban areas and regions. For example, the Group is helping the city of Copenhagen to prevent wastewater from being discharged into the sea if flooding occurs.
- Transform production and consumption models toward the circular economy
Veolia is supporting the development of plastic recycling in order to aid this transition and limit the volume of plastic waste. The Group is already a market leader in Europe and plans to increase its work in this area five-fold by 2025.
Furthermore, Veolia is forging industrial partnerships. For instance, in the Netherlands the Group has joined forces with Philips to eco-design domestic appliances made from recycled plastic.
“Less than 10% of the world’s plastic waste is recycled and eight million tonnes end up in the oceans every year. Veolia believes that one of the solutions to this problem is to develop the recycling of plastic waste. This involves forging new partnerships with organisations, scientists, our industrial clients and local government to make production methods and consumption patterns circular”, said Pierre Victoria, Veolia’s Director of Sustainable Development, at a Sustainable Development Observatory conference on “pollution of the oceans and plastic waste at sea.” The conference took place at Veolia’s headquarters in Aubervilliers on 6 June.
Find out more
> Veolia’s CSR
> 5 June - World Environment Day: Veolia is committed to beating plastic pollution
> Veolia's mission to resource the world
> Planet on “Microplastics: pollution adrift”
> Conference at La REcyclerie: protecting the oceans through the circular economy
> Let's talk about climate : “Every day, Veolia is working to reduce the environmental impact of plastic”