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Greece’s Lipsi Island to Ban Single-use Plastic Cups and Straws

Lipsi island, Greece

Aiming to protect nature and the beautiful landscape of the Dodecanese island of Lipsi, the island’s municipality recently announced plans to do away with single-use plastic water cups and straws and replace them with eco-friendly alternatives.

According to an announcement, the Lipsi Mayor Fotis Maggos recently held a meeting with owners of local restaurants and bars, who agreed to replace all plastic cups and straws with alternatives made of recycled paper or bamboo.

“During our voluntary initiative to clean up the [island’s] beaches, we came across a major issue – the microplastics,” Maggos said.

The microplastics pollute the environment and are impossible to collect, due to their small size.

“Last year, Lipsi managed to minimize the use of plastic bottles through the installation of a machine for water supply, while, with the new initiative this year, we aim to educate residents and visitors on eco-sensitivity in an experiential way,” Maggos added.

Lipsi, Dodecanese. Photo © Maria Theofanopoulou

Lipsi, Dodecanese. Photo © Maria Theofanopoulou

Lipsi’s decision is in line with the EU directive, according to which all EU member states must ban a wide range of single-use plastic products – including cups, dishes, straws and others – by 2021.

The island’s marine ecosystem is considered ideal for the development of the natural environment in the wider region, while it is expected to play a key role in the protection of marine species.

Within this framework, the Dodecanese island will soon become the world’s first permanent sanctuary for dolphins rescued from captivity – an initiative recently launched by the Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation (AIMC) and the Lipsi Municipality.

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