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Greek Island Paros Steps Up Plastic-free Efforts

Paros Island. Photo Source: http://likenoother.aegeanislands.gr

Paros Island. Photo Source: http://likenoother.aegeanislands.gr

Paros has joined a number of other Greek islands in implementing measures to do away with plastic trash in tune with EU targets.

Common Seas initiative Clean Blue Paros, which already garnered the support of 40 local businesses, aims to do away with a wide range of single-use plastic items, including straws, water bottles, cutlery, and plates and replaces these with environmentally-friendly alternatives.

At the same time, Common Seas, the Paros municipality and WATT agreed to work together towards making Paros the first island in the Mediterranean without plastic waste as well as an example for others to follow.

Common Seas has been working with groups worldwide to reduce the amount of plastic waste produced and stop plastic from reaching the ocean.

The “Clean Blue Paros” initiative, supported by the Cyclades Preservation Fund and WWF Greece, aims through awareness, education and hands-on actions to involve residents and visitors in its mission for cleaner seas and a plastic-free way of life.

“Our first step, among other initiatives, will be to eliminate plastic straws by next summer before their official EU ban in 2021. In this goal, we are encouraged by companies that support Clean Blue Paros and are reducing the use of plastics and plastic waste by adopting alternatives such as reusable cups and paper or metal straws. We are working towards enhancing an ecological and environmental awareness on Paros,” said the island’s mayor Markos Koveos.

On her part, Common Seas Managing Director Jo Royle, who is heading the initiative said: “Tackling plastic pollution in our seas is a must for our environment, our economy and ultimately our health.

Alonissos island. Photo Source: Municipality of Alonissos

Alonissos island. Photo Source: Municipality of Alonissos

We have found excellent partners in the leaders and citizens of Paros, and know that the changes they will make in eradicating plastic waste from their island will contribute greatly to their transition towards a circular economy, inspire islands across the world, and contribute to Paros reaching the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the EU’s climate commitments.”

Other Greek islands that have launched similar initiatives include the Northern Sporades island of Alonissos, which was awarded for its commitment to sustainable practices and policies at Stockholm’s Mediterranean Panorama for its “Alonissos without Plastic Bags” initiative; and the Cycladic islands of Donoussa and Sikinos, the first in Greece, to do away with plastic straws and replace them with a bio-degradable alternative paving the way for other islands in the complex to follow suit in the next years.

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