Donoussa, the first Aegean island without single-use plastics
A plastic bag is used for about 15 minutes and pollutes the planet for over 400 years! The extent of plastic pollution and their uncontrolled use in everyday life required immediate mobilization to drastically reduce their impact on the marine environment and human health. Greece, from July 2021 through the bill of the Ministry of Environment and Energy, seeks to live without plastics.
Items such as: plastic cutlery, plates, straws, etc. are removed, which are replaced by alternative products, such as biodegradable cups and disposable plates.
The “model island”
Donoussa, the northern island of the Small Cyclades, has become a model island, without plastics, completely environmentally friendly.
The local authorities, in collaboration with the Athanasiou K. Laskaridis Foundation, prioritized the reduction of marine pollution and the protection of the environment. A project, which was embraced by the 160 residents and was made within the framework of the SEA CHANGE GREEK ISLANDS program, under the auspices of the Municipality of Naxos and Small Cyclades, with the support of the Municipal Community of Donoussa
As Logothetis Kovaios, president of the Association of Professionals on the island, reports to APE-MBE, the professionals of Donoussa committed to working in their shops without plastics. “Where we don’t provide a plastic cup we will have a biodegradable one, where we have a straw it will be biodegradable, where there is a bag it will be biodegradable. That was the original plan and that’s how this action started. As part of the program, they made reusable cups, 1,500 of which were sold.
In addition to reducing plastic waste, it is also important that quality food has quality packaging. Food breathes in our natural packaging and is kept fresher, as it is not encased in plastic or aluminum, materials that do not breathe.
“We used 45,000 plastic cups”
According to Mr. Kovaios, in 2018, the Association of Donousa Professionals did a survey where it found that around 45,000 plastic cups had been used on the island. In 2019, this number fell in half. Disposable plastic cups were replaced by biodegradable ones and 95% of professionals accepted, agreed and implemented it.
Donoussa is an island that is quite aware of environmental issues. This fact is also confirmed by the executive director of the Laskaridis Foundation, Angeliki Kosmopoulou, as, as she mentions, they thought that it had more chances to respond to this ambitious experiment and become the first island without single-use plastics.
The inhabitants of Donoussa are particularly satisfied that their island is a model for the rest of the country.
“Greece without single-use plastics” campaign
“Greece without single-use plastics” is generally a bundle of things. It has a part that concerns cleanings, but it also has a part that concerns communication and awareness actions. The aim is to inform and sensitize the world.
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