By keeping our coasts clean, we keep our home clean
A major problem in the seas and beaches of our country is the accumulation of marine litter, such as plastic and glass bottles, bags, food packaging, soft drinks, nets etc.
The impact of marine litter on the environment is not only aesthetically annoying but also fatal for some animal species. By polluting the environment, garbage also damages the local economy that depends on tourism in coastal areas and islands. People leave trash on the beaches or throw it over board out of ignorance. Since there is a human hand behind every piece of garbage, we can only solve this problem on an individual level.
In order to raise awareness among the Greek society, HELMEPA has been conducting beach cleaning campaigns since 1984. With HELMEPA’s “Seagull” image featuring in our awareness raising campaigns, 2019 is another year of action with hundreds of volunteers. Since the beginning of the year, we have been able to collect 11 tons of garbage from the Greek coasts as part of the ‘Let’s Clean Up Europe’ campaign!
With bags, gloves and all the enthusiasm needed, younger and older volunteers rushed to the beaches and put a hand on cleaning them. Not because it’s summer, but because that’s how it should be! Because the beaches are the mirror of our society and because preserving them is one of the highest acts of volunteering for citizens of all ages.
With the pleasure on their faces, our volunteers completed cleanup actions in distant islands such as Symi, Kastelorizo and Chalki and also the coasts of Athens. The pleasure of giving and volunteering is something that motivates HELMEPA’s staff members to strengthen the existing initiatives and create new ones.
The character of the cleanups is symbolic: we gather what is safe to collect in order to see what one can find on a beach as a result of human negligence.
So, let’s protect our seas and coasts by changing our attitude towards the environment and let’s learn to respect the treasures that we have been given by nature!
Enjoy the rest of the summer, keeping the seas and coasts clean!