The popular island of Paros wants to become the first plastic waste-free island in the Mediterranean with vehicle the Clean Blue Alliance, an initiative of Common Seas, an organisation that seeks the reduction of plastic waste and the plastics pollution in sea.
Common Seas initiative, ‘Clean Blue Alliance,’ supports islands in accelerating their source-to-sea solutions, with the aim of eliminating plastic. The project is evidence-based and solutions-oriented as it identifies and supports local enterprises that reduce and reuse plastics.
This innovative initiative is a collaboration between ground-breaking Paros local businesses, the World Wildlife Fund Greece and the Cyclades Preservation Fund. Clean Blue Paros is empowering and supporting the residents of Paros and the island's visitors, in order to enhance their understanding of their plastic ecosystem, as well as identify and invest in the solutions that will have the biggest impact in reducing the plastic items most commonly found in their seas. Together they will all support and contribute to a lasting reduction of plastic waste on the island.
Paros Mayor Markos Koveos said that the first step is to phase out plastic straws by next summer, ahead of the EU ban planned for 2022. "We are encouraged by the businesses’ who have already committed to support Clean Blue Paros. They are already acting to reduce plastic-use and better manage plastic waste; such as offering incentives for customers using refillable cups and providing alternatives to plastic straws. We will continue to support the growth of conservation and ecological awareness in Paros.”
The agreement reached, also constitutes a significant move towards the adoption of the EU’s strategy for ‘Plastics in a Circular Economy’, that aims to ‘protect the public and the environment from plastic pollution whilst fostering growth and innovation.’ Clean Blue Paros will continue to collaborate closely with Paros Municipality and the island’s locals and visitors to turn Paros into a more sustainable, circular economy that will make it a world leader in plastic-waste free living.
With their ‘Investigate, Intervene, Influence’ methodology, Clean Blue Paros is carrying out research to thoroughly understand Paros’ plastic ecosystem, in order to identify the opportunities that could stop plastic entering into its waters. This summer they will support the local community with the development of anti-plastic initiatives that will have a long-term effect. Together with local experts, they have developed guidance and created a dynamic toolkit to support a plastic-waste free Paros, that will also attract environmentally-aware tourists and investors. These sustainable proposals and measures can be adopted on both a national and international level and inspire replication and scaling in other islands and countries.