Sustainable waste management
in the Mediterranean
Location: Levant island (Région Sud, France), Lavezzi archipelago (Corsica, France), Tavolara island (Sardinia, Italy), Kerkennah archipelago (Tunisia), Zlarin island (Croatia)
Duration: 3 years
Financial and institutional partners: Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Conservatoire du Littoral, ADEME PACA, Rhone-Mediterranean-Corsica Water Agency
Local partners: Corsica’s Environment Office (OEC), Heliopolis Syndicate (Levant island), Tunisia’s National Agency for Energy and Waste (ANGED) and Environment Ministry, Port-Cros National Park, Tavolara Marine Protected Area Management Consortium
Overall project budget: €1,266,932
The accumulation of waste in the terrestrial environment as well as its dispersion in the marine environment represents a real threat to the fragile and unique ecosystems of small Mediterranean islands and their surrounding marine areas.
On small islands, waste management is subject to specific constraints: reduced quantities to be treated, variation in the volume of waste during the tourist season, limited availability of land to store and process waste, high costs for creating waste disposal facilities. storage and treatment (for example, recycling centers), often long distance between the source of production and the place of treatment, difficulties in finding suitable treatment channels depending on the nature of the waste, cost of transport, etc.
In view of these constraints, the project aims to develop sustainable solutions on pilot sites, that are adapted to small island territories, with the aim to: limit waste production, develop and enhance selective collection, treatment, elimination, recovery and awareness.
These islands constitute ideal pilot sites to bring out innovative approaches which will contribute to the general objectives of SMILO certification process, and which can be replicated on other islands as well as other geographical areas.
The project, supported by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, has several specific objectives:
- allow the pilot islands to benefit from technical and financial support to deal with waste-related issues and strengthen their policies for sustainable integrated land management.
- allow neighboring natural areas to reduce the impacts generated by unmanaged waste (risk of fire, landscape degradation, destruction of biodiversity by ghost nets, pollution of water resources, dissemination of micro-plastics, etc.);
- allow other SMILO partner islands to benefit from the feedback of the five beneficiary islands of this project. The managers of the pilot sites of this project will be able to valorise their experience during international workshops organised by SMILO.
The island is right on track! It no longer burns its green waste, but shreds it and uses it. This transition enhances the quality of the air, curbs greenhouse gas emissions, and considerably reduces the risk of fire that hangs over the ecosystems and landscapes on this island-garden. In 2019, the Héliopolis syndicate (the beneficiary of the project) drew up a plan for managing its green waste, organised partnerships with the island’s gardeners, and carried out works to create an area for storing, composting and constructing a shelter for the equipment. Two shredders were purchased thanks to funding from the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and financial contributions from ADEME and the Région Sud.
This archipelago in southern Corsica is a Nature Reserve managed by Corsica’s Environment Agency (OEC). In summer, hordes of tourists flock to the islands (250,000 visitors per year). Defecation in the natural environment has become a problem. A 2018 study compared different solutions from both technical and financial perspectives. In 2020, the OEC will decide which solution to implement.
This island is at the heart of a Marine Protected Area that is very popular with pleasure boaters. Surveys carried out during the summer of 2019 identified the types of waste created by boaters and their practices. In 2020, the Island Committee will decide which preventive and corrective measures need to be put in place to curb the impact of such waste.
In 2018, SMILO commissioned the Association pour la Pêche et les Activités Maritimes (association for fishing and marine activities) and Jeunes Science Kerkennah (an association for youngsters and science in Kerkennah) to draw
up a diagnosis of the problem of plastic fish traps that are used throughout the archipelago. The study concluded that the traps account for over 600 tonnes of plastic per year (polyethylene and polypropylene). All of the Tunisian stakeholders are on board to launch an experiment in 2020 to collect, dismantle, shred and then reuse the fish traps. On a more general scale, SMILO will support the island as it strives to improve the management of waste, water resources and sanitation.
SMILO is supporting this Croatian island as it strives to become a zero-plastic island. Assistance is provided to local players working on awareness, alternatives to single-use plastic containers, etc. Another battery of actions focuses on the management and processing of biowaste and green waste on the island.
This project is supported by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation: http://www.fpa2.org