News that Clean Blue Paros is endeavoring to make the island of Paros the first plastic-waste free Mediterranean island bears special significance. With the aim of creating a precedent, a global leader in the fight against plastics in our seas, Paros can stand as a benchmark for sustainability worldwide.
Using guidelines from the program “Clean Blue Alliance” Paros’ stakeholders are making huge strides to reduce plastic waste and plastics pollution in the seas. With support from the Common Seas initiative, Paros’ ultimate goal is to completely eliminate plastics from the island environment.
The Paros project seeks to identify and support local enterprises which that and reuse plastics. Through further cooperation with local businesses on Paros, W.A.T.T. wast management, World Wildlife Fund Greece, and the Cyclades Preservation Fund, Clean Blue Paros is a timely initiative. The need to revert to reusable is critical on some of these islands.
The island was chosen because it experiences a 350% increase in waste during the tourist season. As a result, the island’s landfill sites are almost full. The Paros system offers a near-perfect case for the study and implementation of systematic solutions to these problems. In short, Paros can become the benchmark for broader programs.
Paros’ mayor Markos Koveos told Greece’s state-run AMNA news agency that the first step will be to phase out plastic straws by next summer, ahead of the EU ban planned for the year 2022. The mayor went on to say:
“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, by offering incentives for customers using refillable cups and providing alternatives to plastic straws.”
In addition, Paros and partners now make a significant move to adopt the EU’s strategy “Plastics in a Circular Economy.” With the ultimate aim of protecting the public while fostering growth, the island initiative is a bold undertaking the wider world should support.
Paros becoming a world leader in plastic-waste free living will pave the way for other ecosystems and communities. The critical Santorini case comes to mind first.
The Clean Blue Paros’ motto of ”Investigate, Intervene, Influence,” can be the catalyst for reversing the damaging trend of plastic-waste in our lives. This summer, they will support the local community with the development of anti-plastic initiatives which they believe will have long-term effects.
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