Greece is highlighting marine plastic pollution as it marks World Environment Day, which falls on June 5, and World Oceans Day on June 8, with the Shipping Ministry launching a project to clean up eight Greek ports.
In cooperation with Enaleia, a local social start-up that helps recycle and upcycle marine plastic waste since 2016, the ministry also plans to turn retrieved waste into useful products like benches and recycling bins that will be placed across these ports.
The aim of the project, which is under the global Clean Seas Campaign of the United Nations, is to raise awareness and motivate more people to take action against marine plastic pollution, Lefteris Arapakis, co-founder of Enaleia, told Xinhua on Saturday during a cleanup at Rafina port, some 30 km east of Athens, as divers were retrieving car tires, plastics and face masks from the waters.
Arapakis, one of the UN Environment Program’s (UNEP) seven Young Champions of the Earth for 2020, and his team have been collaborating with over 700 fishermen in Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Egypt under the Mediterranean Cleanup project in recent years, collecting tons of waste on a daily basis that end up in recycling factories.
“My message for World Environment Day is to join us and be part of generation restoration. Our vision is that in a few years we will not have to do these activities anymore,” he said.