tv Doc Film - White Waves - Surfers Fighting Against Unseen Pollution in the Sea Deutsche Welle January 8, 2018 4:15pm-5:01pm CET
now if you thought it was the ultimate in save even think again of the consumer electronics show in las vegas nevada south korea's l.g. has unveiled the world's first roll a ball t.v. screen the sixty five inch screen can be rolled into a box when you hit the off switch but it can also buy extended and shoot different sizes to use as that information bar for whether you can get more news displays with this and it can even be used to watch movies and a widescreen cinema format for you and you've got to get one of those you're up to date now i'm g.w. news more coming up at the top of the hour and don't forget you can always get the latest news and information around the clock on our web site that's at the deputy com you can also follow us on facebook and twitter i'm sorry kelly in berlin thanks for watching coelacanths it.
it's pretty and it's. it's it's where i find peace it feeds my passions my own what i think it's just made. me a pod not just another animal the elements of nature are not just animals plants bacteria it's also. things like rocks this guy did this fear and obviously to see. the way to me is like another living living thing moves it's gone mind of the sun. isn't it he. was there from the energy that's there it flows. so you feel as if you're a plant rooted to the sea. into the system and this one of those are moments that can really change your way of thinking to yourself.
for the first few years and then to the first fifteen years particularly before i decided i liked bigger waves i just thought that you surfing was going out and doing maneuvers and even right the very beginning it was very competitive and i thought surf was like a sport where surf if there isn't a competition surfing still exists i can remember some days well i've just been in the ocean in big waves and you have this connection with the waves it's almost like the waves are it's another person you build up a relationship with the waves self. taught .
i'd already been here a lot when i lived in england we did some really good trips to galathea and it was a sort of all known thing we didn't really can find any other surface it served very much along the coast of our story a struggle if you. are used to see this wave and we wondered how we could get down to surf it and when i eventually found how to get down the cliff and get into the water from another angle then i suddenly looked back then you just see this great big pile of rubbish. and you had. more looking for where hughes was tony boarded it as we began to find real rubbish don't listen to see that. no one looks out of the beaches from
september you may or june only surfers operators because they're always on the beach most of. them seem and it's sad to go somewhere every day and see more rubbish every time. you see losses bags here are there for full of rubbish. you have to be careful they may contain glass is that eunice you know is the reason i get in if you can see how much rubbish there is if it's all full of stuff like this one bottles corks. is there you know the there's masses. a year. i want. us all washed out during a storm you know this. i
grew up on the south case is quite different but i used to spend my time cycling to the north coast because i wanted to. better. obviously living with him to take leave this winter the rubbish on the base has just been unbelievable basically the sea sort of always wanted back up what was on the nation fill to sundays breaking down and all the grass is kind of intermingle we were the plastics this sunday's always became billy with this stuff loads of reds going yeah i think just from the broken boxes massive fishing net the storms really did project to the whole public how much rubbish was in the sea i was utterly shocked i couldn't believe it was like a carpet being put on to the sound. it seems like the more you read and the more you research on these problems the worse the problem gets so now i've
just finished a big report on marine plastics the problem to me now is a lot worse than it was before before i thought that somehow it degraded or somehow just got absorbed back into the surface of the planet but it doesn't it just stays just stays plastic we know really be mass producing plastic long enough to to fully understand it's right to take radiation we know that in the environment a large plastic item starts to become brittle as a consequence of exposures to the sun to hate and mechanical action in the city and it starts to fragment into very small pieces even microscopic pieces that we describe as micro plastic if i talk to polymer chemists they tell me that all of the plastic that we've ever produced is still with us on the planet in a form is too large to be biodegraded. for a first expedition was to sail from. the bahamas to bermuda number muta across
today's orders and this was to understand what was happening on the eastern side of the north atlantic and that was our first big expedition from there. weather around the world went to the south the south atlantic then the the south pacific the indian ocean and then we knew it was it was global so with a very big dataset and some of the best ocean modelers within made the first estimate of how much trash how much plastic all plastics all sizes and all oceans and that number is two hundred sixty nine thousand tons from five point two five trillion pieces of plastic we know at the moment that around about seven hundred species of marine organisms and count deborah of some kind and most of those reports relate to encounters with plastic deborah we know that those creatures really chest that their brain and some of them become entangled in it we know for
many of those instances that it can be home for even faithful makes me feel quite guilty because i can't do enough about it and i feel that this is kind of it's all wrong. the whole world is backwards. when to do this that's when you like a place you try to keep that environment and task is him in the sea gives me so much the way he was there when i saw that i have to give something back it was to me i feel obliged to. i think that the connection to the same thing award season surfing ingesting a missing that's half the fun. and when you l. first time when you when you walk out of high tide line for the tracks it makes you angry and i'm not the person who can turn a blind eye to that so i can either get angry and frustrated or i can get angry and i can get active.
so afraid of one thousand nine hundred ninety i joined them in one thousand nine hundred five and white happen because we are suffering. in the water on the beaches and all year long. sure enough the beaches at that time were clean in spring so good coming in summer and everything was nice everything was not nice everything was clean before they arrived we were there all year long surfing into waste and polluted water as we could see this and where not not only. they were the witness of it for the time being victims i mean with their troubles or gastric
i remember finding the small plastic wheels had to be. essential and fresh you always see all sorts of disasters object on the beach so i didn't think much of it . but as more and more of these wheels appeared i started wondering what they were because it's actually there is i asked around but no one knew anything about the sea. but once i started asking questions i found out that they want just appearing in her shop and streets it was several people were also finding them in spain. and around other places. there was all sorts of speculation about what they were for what they were used to. packaging and boxes to keep things from moving around. that they were from submarines things like that. but no one really knew what they
were so. surfrider as an organization with chapters in a lot of locations. so we sent an email to all the chapters around europe. and as it happened there were no jocks you know on the island of corsica. had just received an invitation from a company called dan c. to take a look at its new modern sewage treatment plant. in prison it's really just you're. going to capital city they've got to grow sure. i've got it here somewhere they send it to me all you saw this is it. going well you know i saw the photos we sent them and compared them with the picture and they said on the view this is in france why was there so i mean do. you want it so now that we know what they were and what they were for. we were able to start investigating.
you know when we knew they were used in water treatment plants and we visited sewage plants that used. water treatment is done in several stages. in the first stage grids are used to retain the larger floating materialism hugh. limits the grids get smaller and smaller. and when they're no longer small enough a different process is employed. which involves using bacteria that eat or destroy organic material in the water. they realize that if the bacteria was attached to something like a barnacle to iraq it was more effective and it worked better. so volcanic rocks were then used to give the bacteria something to adhere to the dry lava has holes the bacteria can inhabit. and this part of the process became increasingly important and more rock was needed but it's a problem to get. to see so these plastic objects were made to use instead
millions of them are placed in a tank and the bacteria adhere to them to do their job and clean the water. and we set up a web page and we started to publish what we knew on the internet. and we saw that other people were investigating as well and coming up with the same sort of information for example from two thousand and twelve until now there have been several cases of pollution in switzerland from switzerland to link them on both sides of this with side and the french side. to the same issue to do with this research but if. i also tell you seriously that i work for the valet district environmental protection service years i take charge of ensuring that the sewage plants observe federal requirements in this matter. the plant management informed me if it had
been a spill of bio media filters. and i asked them why you know where it came from what . was it but it wasn't until a few months later that we knew how it happened and the quantity that had been lost . we calculated about five cubic meters. that it sank me. alone. what happened was that there was an excess of water there was a thaw which led to a lot of water there was no separate sewage system then to separate the waste water from the surface water it was all in the same plant. so the water level in the tank rose until it overflowed may last the wheels that came to the surface and overflowed they went down the drain is almost a. soft you give us off. but i don't know
horn he had ended up in their own a large river which passes through lake geneva and into france it is descending totally on that may have been flowing into the mediterranean it's a relatively new treatment process i'd say about fifteen years old and this process is used when the capacity of a sewage plant becomes limited that's what it is quite an easy system to set up. all you have to do is add the bio media filters to the tank and it. doesn't cost much as opposed to building a new tank. that's much more expensive. and many districts use this system. there's another planet by the way and the same thing happened they had a bio media spill i think it was the same problem and they did the same thing we did to prevent it from happening again. you're going to be sure you do in switzerland there's been
a lot of pollution the authorities have cooperated a lot. they've given us documents to help us understand the proms. the solution is quite simple like putting a grid on top of it and we've visited many water treatment plants and we've seen the pollution was often caused by extremely silly and simple things. the problem is that in a tank like this there are ten or one hundred but millions of bio media filters and when they spill out millions of them end up in the sea. of on there were . no course even or odd and this is what i would class as a toxin explains to extreme our area notepaper net. there are the kinds of plastic objects you always find along the beach. and we found these shotgun shells.
and then we have i think they're called by a mediocre it's a kind of. when we later found out that they're from the sewage treatment plants. and they are talks innes objects par excellence are tampon applicators. they come in all kinds of shapes and colors. anyway. and they're all over the place . you know. i know you said the compiler point had secured the dish only he's trying to understand the problem of rubbish in reverse since the only data we have up to now is that eighty percent of the litter in the sea comes from the rivers or used. in the study began just over a year ago to find out the quantity in the type of literal which comes from rivers to find its origin its movement how it ends up in the sea. the main conclusion we can draw from this study is that of the fifty thousand waste
products collected during these twelve months that are eight collection points so about seventy percent was plastic. behind the sewage plants we found waste products which are usually in the sewage plants and a large quantity of medical waste is found just behind the sewage plants. i find all this stuff from combined sewage overflow i find the ocean i find the air buds i find that tampon applicators little little little pink little tubes i find cigar tips i find all these things that you find just in sewage are still floating out to sea you know a thousand miles of the mill the ocean. it's simply don't we don't it's really because there are two main reasons why we find a large quantities on the beaches the first is that there are people out there who clean their ears with cotton buds and then throw them down the toilet. here they go into the sewage i mean since about alone they should throw them into the bin
forensics the problem is that in many towns there is only one grain pipe which carries the rainwater and the sewage together tristram's equally well men don't use them in the climate is mild it goes to the sewage plants and uncertain but when it rains have a lights of other so much water goes into the sewage plants that they can't create enemy no. anybody's that's really feeling so they have no other option. than to open the watergate and let uncreated water flow directly into the environment like the real in the sense that. this is the part we see. the plastic which has been thrown away the part we don't see are detergents chemicals and all the bacteria which come from the toilet. to them of you know like you got sometimes we serve a big wave near here and you come out of the water smelling of feces but your wetsuit smells like crap because you've been surfing near the sewage plant and this does not only happen here it happens everywhere.
dizzy and surges set up in one thousand nine hundred ninety eight in this village in st agnes by a group of boys who were repeatedly going surfing and becoming sick and i know putting turning two together the u.k. used to discharge all of its sewage untreated for a long sea out folks and that basically meant when when i was on show winds and swell all of the sewage pollution was coming straight back onto the beach is. when i first started surfing in the early ninety's he would quite often be surfing amongst sanitary towels and faces and it was it is all in the sea is like
a surfing in and out and so. when i was a kid we used to come down to cool every holiday we spent many weeks down here and my dad told me surfing way back in the early seventy's. is really passionate about water loved everything about it was terrible for there and he used to lend me his boat and used to go out into the water from about the age of sort of four five years old and yeah being totally hooked on it since then there was always this thing about me getting sick i was always sick in summer holidays in comal it became a bit of a job related. would have to end up going to the doctors getting antibiotics these kind of things always with their infections upper respiratory tract infections and really bad conjunct of isis and we hadn't made i mean it was only literally probably fifteen years ago that was talking through my parents and i sleep with us
for a second you were the one that was in the water the whole time you bathing with bathing in in the sort of area where the effluent was coming out and i was just yeah ingesting rule sewage at the time and then you know within two days of the holiday you know bright red eyes you know streaming control devices and left left is just constantly getting infections and it set up a weakness that then sadly went on to me just getting more and more infections and to the point when there were pretty bad hearing loss in the left ear from it in the early ninety's when s.s. was born it was born on a single issue pressure group so it was a group who were campaigning against untreated sewage going into the se and it was a big problem then because it was continuous to charges of sewage all around the u.k. so with the help of the don't waste water treatment directive we've seen billions of pounds spent on u.k. sirrah to infrastructure to stop untreated sewage going into the say day in day out
so that's a major step forward now the trouble now is instead of discharging sewage one point eight kilometers out to say you have these things called sewer overflows combines or overflow can discharge untreated sewage during periods of rain or periods a malfunction stray out onto the beach or into the river very very close to debate . this combined. so you got these four grills when the. infrastructure is in a depression this is an emergency exit you'll have human sewage as you can see all in the great. you have human sewage completely stall mortar coming out of these grates. and out since you want to call most most premie. beaches.
reproach you cases for this year especially where you know the overflow. of. people. know to be getting air infections you know i mean for one you know on our to notice or sort of you know in the hives being severe we're going forward you know. antibiotic resistant bacteria it's to seven nation the environment is really understudied it could be a potential for millions of people in the way anyway and come into contact with a system of terror because we know that. coastal waters all contaminated with
sewage on occasion and at the same which can contain a system of terror means that it will difficult street with antibiotics so what we did is we collected sea water. tap for the for the presence of water a particular type of terry adequately code i. had a tough time for resistance to one group of antibiotics and we found that even though they are present in small number die. resistant bacteria are present and coastal waters and people he'd enjoy recreational activities to see disability about terrorist we don't really know what happens when someone swallow a resistant bacteria we don't know what they it survives in the body or whether it goes on to develop. to calls a subsequent infection we don't know that is something that we're investigating for close to the potential by simply. again bathing
after rainfall event. what's happening your country and it's also happening in many of the beaches around the country is the regulators deciding to take awards girl to sample from some way down the beach far away from where the source of pollution is entering the sea just like many beaches around the country a country the they'll be children there will be thousands of people who will you see right in front of the river a country which is where the sewer overflow discharges so those people are being told the water quality is excellent because the environment agency will take a sample many hundreds of meters away from where they using the sea what what we do is we look at where the most bathers are on a bathing water and we draw an imaginary line right during to the bottom of the tide to the top of the tide and we always take the sample on that particular point what i can say is that after
a really heavy rain the combined sewer overflows are likely to operate to save people's houses being flooded with sewage and that sewage will end up going down the red river and into quickly and i don't agree. it will it will happen and it will flow with the tide depending on where the tide days back out to sea and across the front of the page we do know that and that's true but where people are most of the people they it will be classed as excellent when you look at all of the data that we've got. the u.k. is given a choice as every member state is you can take the world's call to sample from where the worst source of pollution is or where the major source of by this are so by the environment agency deciding to ignore that source of pollution knowing full well the over the course of the bathing season many thousands of people will use that body of water right in front of the river then they are not supporting their community i haven't any environment agency i've liked his people and i understand
they're there because they're there because they want to protect the environment so they're good people in a good organization war i feel and this is just my opinion sir might be completely wrong but when the was called say results get released at the end of the beginning in november the environment agency hauled before the press to say why are these beaches passing question paid to pollute is that again held to account should be water companies it should be pharmacy should be industry they're getting perks of our camera to say the speech has failed again why why ammeter nor you should have been hearing about this.
case where they the private water companies this is. an industry that makes billions of pounds of profit year on year on year now that profit needs to be taken back from the shelters and it needs to be invested in the protecting the environment because that's what these water companies should do they should give us clean and safe drinking water and they should take away our surgeons treat it responsibly without jumping into the environment that should be a bottom line that the company works from and it can still make money we did
a lot of undercover work we filmed the c.s.i. shows discharging into rivers and into ses around the u.k. and we worked with a national t.v. company b.b.c.'s panorama programs watched by millions of people hello. tonight caught on camera the type spilling sewage on to some of the britain's most popular place the beaches this is disgusting it's. real as a direct result of that lobbying food that the b.b.c. and also working with national newspapers. we were called in for a meeting with the environment minister and those surface against sewage and all of the stakeholders in the water industry with the environment minister and he said down the challenge he said it's not good enough he doesn't want to say so is overflowing on national t.v. so what can we do to stop it and the first voice he came to in that meeting was
surface against sewage for a solution and that gave us the opportunity to say. whilst we're not able to reduce the sewer overflows right now without investment what we want is information so tell us when a sewer is overflowing and we'll tell the public and then they can make that informed decision and leave we've been informed of over three thousand so overflow incidents that can cause serious impact on your health in the last few years and we've passed on to thousands and thousands of paid. into the little we. pay as
a price of being late. and having discovered or even taken the problem seriously twenty fifteen ten years ago one of the biggest improvement we've seen is awareness from everybody from the citizen to people leaders in brussels in european parliament for instance like twenty years ago. if they had if we had trouble with water treatment with sewage water as people would say where there's no problem and who asked us to believe this then we said no no no it's not it's not ok and no these it's the opposite it's now an argument which is no from our politicians look at what was meant to improve water quality and this is wrong a long term. improvement. and i think for me the most important. is
to really feel how how long the process how difficult the process and how far you are from. when you off i too need to from the beginning. stay home from all the water make sure you don't get cold and then just do the search so just for you know going to contaminate much just having a shower on some forty five minutes. on the saturday when the water this great come out and vigorous and. ready for love. and peace and
love that we came and the water is really warm. at least compared to where you come from. with several degrees warmer that's wonderful. i just went for a swim in the river had a shark. job. the way i justify my own. guiltiness being part of the problem because you know where this is plastic came in and ok it's recycled but it's probably it would be better if it was. it wasn't if it didn't exist in the first place is the best that we can do but you know still not i'm not perfect. you know i travel i've got a car. hydrocarbons. you know i'm using up resources. quicker than they're being renewed. so my justification for that is
that i can be happy with less less resources than most people and i haven't got this thing this addiction to. buying new stuff all the time and throwing away which is a big problem i like to keep things you know i don't drink water out of those plastic bottles because i just have a metal bottle and i just refill it every time from the time i mean it's important to recognize that there's no single solution to this problem and it is about things that are familiar to it's about reducing reusing and recycling now if it's a drink of water fresh water bottled water in most parts of the developed world we have very good drinking water coming out of the town so absolutely it's a case of having a refillable bottle that we can fill from the top every time of course we could start to try and clean up the mess in the oceans but my view on that is that we're putting mr into the oceans far faster than we can ever take it how to really the thing we need to do is to stop it going in in the first place. blame anything we
seem to you know the basic idea is very simple if you go to the beach second you pick up three pieces of litter you take a photo and you put it on the social networks i mean if we're on the right track. it'll take time but i think we're on the right track. obviously the answer isn't to clean a beach because we can clean it today in the lab more later tomorrow but the point is to make people aware that there is an extremely serious problem in the solution is right here us nothing then when i thought i knew you were not a yes i think it was pretty unique and we clean are necessary once a year and we carry out periodic clean ups with coke at three and other groups. you can clean it one day and it's clean and you go back the next day and you see the same mess again and yes it hurts it hurts when it is something that hurts when it isn't because again later i don't know. i suppose it's because of
a lack of education among the population. and i know and i'm not sitting on the most correct guy in the world. but when i was young my parents taught me not to drop litter and to keep it and put it no later ban. and. i hope everyone will end up doing that one day. in the process of setting up the club and school and working with children. i saw that it was my duty to transmit this to the children. i thought that if we managed to get the youngsters to grow up with the idea of not leaving litter and making them aware that we have this problem. in later years when they're grown up they'll pass it on to their children. thinking that in the future things will be better for us and essentially passing it on to children i think that. they're the future.
you're going to hear they have every time i go to a school and i visited fifty five of them last year the parents come up to me and say wow you really get your message across to the kids it's essential to reach kids because as i always say it's too late for our generation. i mean how do you convince people my age we have two kids a mortgage and stress but if we change the behavior of their kids we will have achieved something. bottle. styrofoam. and some throw. pieces of plastic i can't even identify. it's not nice to be on the beach and find plastic objects everywhere. just. people don't know how to dispose of bottles. they toss them into the ocean as the film. or trash bin. it's not the sea but at
school i often tell other children not to drop their candy wrappers on the floor. and they don't seem to care. i often pick up after them because they don't seem to know what happens when they drop a letter it's wrong it isn't right nature isn't meant for that we're changing it into something it isn't and one day will destroy it if we go on like this. you mediums are current mediums and she. talks to me like you know this has to be done because she. was really amazing. for me it was what i said to the students is to raise awareness of the issues really we just said to the students when i began speech you need to pick up three three objects and see what you can do you can put them into compositions make them
look beautiful so they might have color coded reds oranges and yellows if they can create artwork as well i mean for me it's a case of collecting the debris and making something with it rather than going into a big big trash bag i don't think they knew the facts and figures they want to help and the passionate about being in both and i would say think. they want the. association with protecting the environment and not for me. that's what it's all about. is much more attractive for people to try to modify the environment and then they don't offer. to modify their own behavior that enough to sort of. train their minds or train themselves to react in sequence with nature and surfing is surfing in real ways in the ocean the whole thing of anticipating the swell that's going to become and. front desk when
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