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Strategies to reduce plastic pollution in mountain ecosystems

The PLASTICØPYR project aims to sustainably prevent the accumulation of plastics in mountain ecosystems in order to make tourism compatible with the conservation of these ecosystems. PLASTICØPYR responds to the challenge of making tourism compatible with the conservation and improvement of mountain fluvial ecosystems.

Project co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

The general objective of the project is to reduce in a sustainable way the accumulation of plastics in the mountain ecosystems and their subsequent transport to the sea. The expected results in natural sites located in the Pyrenees of Catalonia, Andorra and France are:

  1. The development of tools to evaluate and disseminate the environmental impact of plastics on fluvial ecosystems.
  2. The decrease of the production of plastic wastes and an improvement of its management.
  3. The involvement of citizenship in the research of plastic pollution and in the co-creation of self-sustainable use and substitution models.

The main beneficiaries are mountain ecosystems and their inhabitants through reducing plastic pollution and having a strategy for the reduction of single-use plastics compatible with local economic development. The present project will supply unique protocols to be shared in the three countries which represent a reduction of the cost in the development of management strategies. This entails a greater interaction between the parties that share objectives and therefore maximizes the positive synergies between the different stakeholders. It also involves the improvement of the ecological quality of rivers with the subsequent reduction of local and downstream depollution costs; landscape improvement with territories endowed with protection regulations and therefore attractivity enhancement of the area.

The originality and novelty of the project lie in the development of a strategy that involves citizens, research centres, specialized companies and local agents in research, dissemination of the environmental issues and co-creation of circular economy business models that did not exist before.

The project has been 65% co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Interreg V-A Spain-France-Andorra programme (POCTEFA 2014-2020). POCTEFA aims to reinforce the economic and social integration of the Spanish-French-Andorran border. Its support is focused on developing economic, social and environmental cross-border activities through joint strategies fostering sustainable territorial development.