Paros, Greece — Becoming the Med’s first plastic-waste free island

This year, the Greek island of Paros started its journey to become the first Mediterranean island that’s completely free of plastic waste. Everyday plastic items (such as bottles, takeaway containers and cups) often litter the beach and pollute the sea on the world’s most idyllic islands – and Paros was no exception. Until now.

Clean Blue Paros (a partnership between Common Seas, the Municipality of Paros Island and waste-management firm WATT) is working with locals and visitors to help them understand the problem and create the most effective solutions.

The project started by researching the current situation – what’s being littered, by who, where and why. Meanwhile, local shops, cafes and restaurants are radically reducing problem plastics, while schools have kicked off a refill scheme to reduce reliance on bottled water. Other initiatives include the separate collection of cups and bottles (which are great for recycling) and an ‘airport takeover’ to communicate the campaign. Clean Blue Paros is also working with the government and big business to scale what works on Paros to other islands.

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