Rotary club’s duck race stirs environmental concerns

Since 2018, hundreds of plastic ducks have been released into the Gapeau River for a race every year, resulting in enormous, never-ending environmental pollution.

The Rotary Club’s decision to host its annual plastic duck race in the Gapeau River in Solliès-Pont has sparked controversy and concern among environmental groups and local residents. The event, known as the “Duck Race“, has been a yearly activity since 2018, featuring hundreds of yellow plastic ducks released into the river, each marked with a number identifying its owner.

“Obviously, this can only negatively impact the environment,” stated the Hyères-based association Explore & Preserve, raising concerns about the plastic pollution caused by ducks dispersed in the Gapeau River, which flows into the port of Hyères.

This worry is shared by many who fear that these plastic objects could be lost in the natural environment, contributing to the pollution of waterways and seas. Anne Settimelli, director of Explore & Preserve, emphasized that despite the prizes and the fun of the event, the Duck Race sets a bad example, especially for children.

Rotary Club unwilling to cancel the event

Given the negative impact of plastic pollution on the health of the marine environment and biodiversity, organizing events that promote the use of non-biodegradable materials like plastic could have harmful and counterproductive consequences for environmental awareness and ecosystem protection.

The Explore & Preserve association has therefore asked the organizers of the race to either cancel the event or find an alternative that does not involve plastic pollution. However, to date, the Rotary Club has not responded to these requests.

Once again, we risk facing yet another environmental disaster, highlighting the need for greater environmental awareness and responsibility in recreational and entertainment activities.

Although these events may seem fun and engaging at first glance, it is essential to consider the impact they can have on the environment and the health of ecosystems. On the contrary, supporting initiatives that promote sustainability and environmental protection is crucial to ensuring a healthy and prosperous future for the coming generations.

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