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France reverses car tyre sea sanctuary -- an environmental flop

France reverses car tyre sea sanctuary -- an environmental flop

The original vision, backed by local French authorities at the time and fishermen, was that the tyres would become populated by coral and other sea creatures in a conservation area where fishing was off limits.

In France, the idea of a "tyre reef" was tried only here, but a local academic working on the clean-up operation said authorities in other countries, particularly the United States, had tried the same failed idea.

  • Leaking toxic chemicals -

Worse, a study in 2005 by researchers at the University of Nice showed that the tyres were leaking toxic chemicals into the environment, including heavy metals, which are a threat to human life.

A million euros has been provided by the French state to finance the French clean-up, while French tyre company Michelin has contributed 200,000 euros (235,000 dollars).

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