menu

Stopover in French Guiana 🇫🇷🇬🇫

  • Stopover 10
  • Cayenne and Saint-Laurent du Maroni
  • From June 2 to 25, 2023

Stopover 10

French Guiana, Plastic Odyssey’s ninth stopover

The crew made a stopover in French Guiana, the second leg of our mission to Latin America, which marked the Plastic Odyssey’s return to French territory, 9 months after the expedition’s departure from Marseille on October 1, 2022.

To better understand and tackle the issue of waste management, we divided the stopover into 3 parts – a first! Our first stop was in Cayenne, the economic and institutional heart of the region, where we organized a press conference, visited two industrial sorting plants, set up our exhibition of alternatives to plastic at the TOTEM in the CanopĂ©e des Sciences and welcomed 4 school groups aboard the ship.

Then, we set sail again for the Port de l’Ouest in Saint-Laurent du Maroni, where the CommunautĂ© de Communes de l’Ouest Guyanais (CCOG) had organized everything for our arrival. We held another press conference and displayed the Treasure Trunks at the foot of the boat.

In Saint-Laurent du Maroni, we also welcomed local entrepreneurs and institutions for session #10 of the OnBoard Laboratory. Classes of local schoolchildren climbed aboard, and for the first time we organized an open day for the general public! A victim of its own success, all the tour slots were booked within 3 hours. Even so, the operation attracted 150 visitors!

Our ninth stopover ended with a stopover in Suriname, where we visited the country’s only recycling center!

Key figures

3

stopovers in one

For the first time since the departure of the expedition, the stopover was divided into 3 stages: Cayenne, Saint-Laurent du Maroni and a short stopover in Suriname.

11

new entrepreneurs

Our training program was attended by 11 committed entrepreneurs. They work daily to combat plastic pollution in their area.

1700

students reached

In French Guiana, 200 students visited the laboratory ship in Cayenne and Saint-Laurent du Maroni, and over 1,500 French schoolchildren followed the live broadcast.

What should we remember from this stopover?

With 90% of its territory covered by the Amazon rainforest, French Guiana is a developed region that is not one of the 30 areas most affected by plastic pollution that we identified prior to the expedition’s departure. This territory therefore seemed less suited to the implementation of our proposed solutions.

On site, however, we discovered that the waste management system was underdeveloped (it mainly consists of sorting and packaging certain types of waste before they are exported to mainland France) and that plastics recycling initiatives were rare, despite a real need and players willing to invest.

The challenge: build a new model adapted to local specificities! In fact, there’s still a lot to be done to develop the low-tech recycling sector, and we’re working on this in collaboration with committed entrepreneurs such as the OSL – Ocean Science & Logistic association and their project to transform illegal fishing nets seized by the authorities into school furniture.

Web serie – Episode 4

Watch the fourth episode of the Web series produced in partnership with Les Éclaireurs.

Images by Pauline Planté

About the Expedition

Plastic Odyssey, an ambassador vessel for the fight against plastic pollution in the oceans, sails around the world to discover, reference, and share concrete solutions. A three-year expedition across three continents in countries most affected by plastic pollution.

Carte de l'expédition de Plastic Odyssey

Previous stopover

Recife, Brazil

All stopovers

Back to the stopovers

Next stopover

Guadeloupe

Join the community,
Subscribe to the newsletter