#zeroplastic

Awareness Raising Campaign against Plastic Debris and Microplastics in the Greek Seas

The issue

It has been estimated that million tons of plastic debris find their way into the oceans every year. The predictions are dramatic with recent research showing that by 2050 there will be more plastics in the seas than fish.

In Greece, plastic waste ending in aquatic ecosystems exceeds 50% of total waste. The wide range of shapes, sizes and impurities, in combination with the high capacity for dispersion of the plastic products through the air and the water, are responsible for multiple input sources, making the management of the issue particularly difficult.

The microplastics represent an important proportion of plastics in the oceans. Microplastics are small plastics with a diameter of less than 5 mm and are usually divided into two sub-categories: the primary microplastics, which are purposefully produced (<5 mm) to be included in many everyday products, such as toothpaste, personal care creams, cosmetics, etc. and secondary microplastics, which are the result of fragmentation (break down) of larger plastic items. Regardless of their sources, the presence of microplastics in the marine ecosystems has a negative impact on marine organisms, ecosystems and on humans.

The problem of plastic waste is directly related to modern daily life. The production of plastic over the last decades has increased significantly due to the advantages of plastic compared to other materials. Now, understanding the problem, it's time to react. New European legislation promotes the ban of primarily single-use plastic, but we need to change our consumption habits first.

The goal

The #zeroplastic campaign aims to inform the public about the impact of plastic waste and microplastics on marine ecosystems and on humans, but primarily on promoting a zero waste philosophy for reducing plastic items and products containing microplastics. The actions of the project will not only be restricted to the general public but will also include events aimed at bringing together companies in the tourism sectors and other relevant stakeholders with companies producing environmentally friendly products.

Actions

  1. A communication campaign focusing on two directions, to inform the public about the problem of plastic pollution by presenting real images of the effects of plastics on marine organisms. The second phase will focus on proposals for the replacement of disposable plastics, promoting a zero waste logic. 
  2. Production of informative material for students and teachers. The material will be available online, free of charge on the iSea page. Members of iSea can also conduct educational activities to schools after an invitation. 
  3. "Science Café": live streaming interviews of researchers dealing with the problem of plastic and microplastic pollution for bringing together the scientific community and the general public.
  4. An awareness event aiming to communicate the issue to the tourism industry and bring together tourism business with companies producing environmentally friendly products.
  5. An awareness event targeting youth groups (schools, sports clubs, scouts, etc.), preparing the next generation of marine advocates.
  6. A study for exploring the knowledge and the perception of the public about the issue. The results will help us prepare future targeted actions.
  7. We will continue to take care of our home!!! The project includes zero waste beach clean up actions in selected areas around Thessaloniki that are affected by plastic pollution.

Communication Materials

Educational Materials

Questionnaire (in GR)

Events Calendar

 

Collaborators

Anna Maria Addamo
European Commission Joint Research Center
National Museum of Natural Sciences - MNCN

Funders