Paros: “Clean Blue Paros” – The first island without plastic!

Paros participates in the pioneering initiative “Clean Blue Paros“, which will guide and educate residents and visitors of Paros, so as not to use plastics, such as coffee cups, straws, disposable water bottles, plastic food packaging and plastic bags, replacing with alternatives.

The Common Seas, with the initiative of the ‘Clean Blue Alliance’, supports the efforts of the islands worldwide, in solving the problem of plastic waste from the source, until it ends up in the sea and oceans.

This is a convergence between the Common Seas, the Municipality of Paros and WATT, who have agreed to work together to make Paros the first island in the Mediterranean without plastic waste and at the same time a world leader in the fight against plastic in our seas.

This pioneering initiative of ‘Clean Blue Paros’ is supported by the Cyclades Preservation Fund, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Greece. ‘Clean Blue Paros’ will guide and contribute with training programs for the residents and visitors of Paros. It will identify and invest in solutions that will have the greatest impact on the elimination and reduction of plastic waste located in the seas of Paros so that all together, to contribute to the effective reduction of plastic waste and pollution.

Common Seas Director Jo Royle, who led and designed the initiative, said

“Combating plastic pollution of our seas is our duty to the environment, our economy and, in essence, our health. We have found excellent partners among the residents of Paros. “We recognize that the changes that will be made to the disposal of plastic waste on their island will contribute to their transition to a circular economy, to the achievement of the ‘EU Climate Commitments’ and the ‘UN Sustainable Development Goals.’

Clean Blue Paros’, already supported by 40 local businesses in Paros, aims to reduce plastic waste plastic coffee cups, straws, water bottles, food packaging and plastic bags with alternatives. The team of ‘Clean Blue Paros’ will check and record the percentage of plastic that is recycled, while the Municipality will apply the sorting at the source for plastic waste.

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Clean Blue Paros will support this Greek island in becoming the first plastic-waste free Mediterranean island and a global leader in the fight against plastics in our seas.

Our Clean Blue Alliance initiative supports islands in accelerating solutions that eliminate plastic entering our seas and oceans. Its first island initiative, ‘Clean Blue Paros’, is a ground-breaking collaboration between Paros Municipality, the Cyclades Preservation Fund, WATT, WWF Greece and pioneering local Paros businesses.

Why Paros?

Greece’s population triples in the summer, contributing €35b to the economy (almost 20% of GDP in 2017). Tourists flock to the islands for their beautiful beaches and clean seas, but the population surge sees a similar increase in plastic waste. This represents an environmental and economic risk to Greece.

We selected the island of Paros because it met a specific set of criteria. During its high season, Paros experiences a 350% increase in waste. Its landfill sites are almost full. The complexity of Paros’ waste challenges presents an opportunity to explore and deliver systemic solutions that can be replicated and scaled across other islands.

Our other criteria included community interest, governance, finance, existing waste management infrastructure and profile, demographics, accessibility, and local partners and influencers.

 

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