the “plastic weather” arrives in Paris

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By John

“Today the weather will be sunny in Paris, with despite everything a few plastic showers that can reach 40 kilos in cumulative precipitation over the day. » A new kind of weather report, with a plastic bag in the shape of a more or less threatening cloud depending on the forecast, was inaugurated in Paris on Thursday May 25 by the former star presenter of France Télévisions Chloé Nabédian, with the Minister of ecological transition, Christophe Béchu. Developed by researchers from the Minderoo Foundation, an Australian philanthropic organization, “The Plastic Forecast” is a new weather indicator to alert on the “plastic pollution crisis”.

Its worldwide launch in Paris is not due to the fact that the French capital is subject to a particular plastic microclimate, but to the fact that it hosts from May 29 to June 3 the second session of negotiations devoted to the development of a international treaty to end plastic pollution.

The awareness-raising operation will involve displaying in the metro, on bus shelters and other digital advertising panels for the duration of the negotiations. “Plastic weather” bulletins, such as those of Météo-France, can be consulted on the site, even after the United Nations summit. “The Plastic Forecast proves that it is almost impossible to avoid this threat”, comments Marcus Gover, plastics research coordinator at the Minderoo Foundation. Associated with the very serious Boston College, the foundation published this year a reference report which evaluates the costs of the environmental and health impacts of plastic pollution, estimated at more than 350 million tons per year on a planetary scale.

Microparticles and nanoparticles

Even when the forecasts are good, the bulletin announces “precipitation” of plastic in the order of 40 kilos in one day. In rainy weather, up to 420 kg of plastic fall on the heads of Parisians. A gimmick? Not at all, defends the Australian foundation. To establish their model, the researchers explain that they relied on scientific publications. Scientific literature has highlighted the fact that plastic is present in the atmosphere in the form of microparticles (less than 5 millimeters) and nanoparticles (less than 1 microgram) and contaminates the most remote places on the planet, from deserts to ice floe through the summit of Everest.