The Skiathos Municipality recently launched a cigarette butt recycling scheme called the “Gopa Project“.
The concept sees smokers voting with their cigarette butts (“gopa” in Greek) by answering a question with humorous social and environmental content or inspired by current affairs and related to sport, music, literature, film and television. Smokers have two answers to choose from. The answers are represented by two separate transparent columns, the height of which indicates which answer is the most popular.
Up to now, the project has seen 10 cigarette recycling boxes/”voting booths” installed in numerous locations along the island’s seafront and at central bus stops.
The aim of the project is to encourage smokers to recycle their cigarette butts. The collected cigarette butts are shipped off to a recycling company where the tobacco, paper and ash undergo a composting process and the cigarette filter is used to make new recycled industrial products.
“The GOPA project is another step in our effort to raise awareness of recycling among our fellow citizens. We therefore invite the residents and visitors of Skiathos to ‘vote’ with their cigarette butts and contribute to the protection of the environment,” said Skiathos Mayor Thodoris Tzoumas.
The recycling scheme is part of a collaboration between the Municipality of Skiathos and the Common Seas organization.
Common Seas works with governments, communities, businesses, local authorities and schools to reduce plastic waste and promote the circular economy through targeted environmental actions and programs, following research and fieldwork by an international team of scientists, researchers, policy experts, communicators and behavior change practitioners.
According to the Municipality of Skiathos, the “Gopa Project” is expected to help reduce the amount of cigarette butts that end up polluting the environment.
A major source of pollution, cigarette butts can take up to 10 years to decompose, according to scientific studies. They can also release harmful chemicals into the environment.