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Are you concerned or sad about the sight of plastic and other litter on the shores and our natural environment?


About 12 million tons of plastics flow into our ocean every year. The effects have been massive for life on our planet, with scientists reporting that 800 species of animals are threatened by plastic pollution.


Plastic waste plagues even the most remote areas of our planet with rich biodiversity, from the Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean, with few inhabitants, to the deepest point of the oceans, the Mariana Trench and the wildlife in the Amazon.



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Although plastic has brought a "revolution" to our lives since 1950, making our daily lives much easier, plastic waste is now one of the greatest threats to our planet. More than 40% of plastic is used just once and then discarded.


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What can I do
to be part of the solution to this global problem?



First step: we make small changes in our daily lives


We reduce single-use plastics as much as possible. The truth is that plastic has become an integral part of our lives: we can find it everywhere, in product packaging, fabrics, mobile phones, cosmetic ingredients, and countless other products. So, reducing it may seem difficult, but it is much simpler than we think!


We reduce our plastic footprint today, with the aid of the new HELMEPA electronic toolkit for cutting down the consumption of single-use plastics.



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Second step:  we take action by participating in a voluntary beach cleanup


By organising a voluntary clean-up, we are sending a strong message and taking an important extra step to keep our seas, forests, rivers and all our natural environment clean.


Participation is open to students, parents, teachers, port authorities, local authorities, local authorities, companies and organisations, embassies, environmental organisations, mountaineering and nature clubs, diving centres, nautical and sailing clubs, local associations, volunteer groups and anyone who wants to express their sensitivity for the marine and coastal environment.


For companies in particular, holding such an action at least twice a year enables them to further strengthen their work on ESG-CSR issues, since it expresses their commitment to the environment and the promotion of sustainable development, creating a positive and measurable impact on society and the environment.



Organizing a voluntary beach cleanup activity


If you wish to join the community of thousands of volunteers who take part in this global initiative, contributing valuable data on the problem and sending a message of determination for a cleaner planet, please follow these simple steps:


  1. Gather your team of volunteers among friends, colleagues or family and choose the beach you wish to cleanup
  2. Complete and submit electronically the cleanup event registration form of HELMEPA
  3. Plan and conduct your activity following the simple guide for voluntary beach cleanups that we developed foy our volunteers


Volunteers have the opportunity to contribute to the scientific study of the problem by recording in detail the collected litter items, producing valuable evidence on their quantities, types and origin. The new analytical Beach Litter Recording Form of HELMEPA was developed in collaboration with the Hellenic Center for Marine Research (HCMR) according to the EE guidelines for the scientific monitoring of marine litter pollution.


And one last step to maximize the positive impact of your activity: submit the data you gathered through HELMEPA’s electronic form for beach cleanup results. The data we receive is used for information and awareness raising of the general public, as well as to support studies and decision-making to effectively reduce marine litter pollution.


So, let us renew our commitment to Clean Seas and Beaches on the occasion of International Coastal Cleanup Campaign, spreading the message that we care about the sea and the future of our children!


Cleanup coordinators and their companies will electronically receive Commemorative Diplomas by HELMEPA.


Additional material to check out:

  1. Electronic map with scheduled cleanup events of this year’s campaign in Greece
  2. Litter recording form for underwater cleanups
  3. Infographic with ICC 2021 results and top ten litter items on Greek coasts
  4. Guide for recycling through the Hellenic Recovery Recycling Corporation Waste Recycling System (blue bins)