On a sunny afternoon, the Click-Dive editorial team travelled not far from Aix-en-Provence to meet Sabine Meneut, the co-founder of the Palana Environnement association. I was received in a totally atypical placeand for good reason, everything here is made from recycled materials! A window taken from an old motorhome, furniture created with the wood from the sawmill located a stone’s throw away or a wall built with bottle shards and lit by LEDs. Displayed like trophies at the top of shelves, countless bags, each bigger than the next, filled with fishing nets.
A framework that clearly illustrates the mission that the association set itself three years earlier: “to enhance and preserve marine and terrestrial ecosystems by using innovative means and techniques”. To meet this ecological need, the association’s volunteers collect waste at sea or on the coast in order to recycle it into everyday objects. Thanks to the Net Sea project, the association has specialised in the recovery of fishing nets, which were previously not subject to any waste treatment approach.
From waste to object to finance projects
To reach the general public and raise funds, the association created its own brand in 2018 : Sauvage. All products are eco-designed from waste recovered at sea. On that day, I am lucky enough to be able to admire braided braceletsthat were handmade by Palana members from fishing nets. During our interview, Sabine tells me that they still have many more product projects to come, such as shopping bags, photo frames and even furniture !
The profits generated by the sale of products allow Palana Environnement to organize waste recovery events such as the “Great Challenge” but above all to achieve an objective, to make it a job. Working full-time in the association could accelerate stepssuch as those Sabine is currently working on regarding plastic regulation. Ambitious projects that would contribute to improving the disastrous state of the oceans.
To preserve oceans
This deplorable situation on the seabed is something we talk about off camera for a long time. Today, plastic microparticles are everywhere, in our food, in insects, in the oceans and even in the rain. But the co-founder of the association remains optimistic. According to her, even if we should have acted 40 years ago, nothing is lostand there is still a possibility of stopping this global ecological disaster.
Sabine sends a strong message at the end of our interview :
« We can all act at our own level. As a poem says, one is the captain of one’s soul and the master of one’s destiny. »
A message in which I find myself, echoing the Click-Dive values. It is in these last exchanges that I realize the passionate woman Sabine Meneut and all the veracity of her project.
Text, video and photo : Ael Le Fur