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30 YEARS HELMEPA
6 June 2012
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6 June 2007, Anniversary event
15 YEARS HELMEPA JUNIOR
February 20, 2009
 


Voluntary Cleanups

HELMEPA Voluntary Cleanups

Every spring HELMEPA coordinates in Greece the "Let's Cleanup Europe" campaign, which is implemented throughout the EU with the support of the European Commission and aims at raising awareness on the need for a litter-free European environment.

This year the campaign focuses on the fact that although 70& of litter originates from inner land, much of this ends up as marine litter since it is transported from the mountains to coastal areas via wind, rivers and the road network.

With the marine litter problem and especially plastic pollution seeming to get out of hand, we all have the duty to become part of the solution by reducing the amount of waste we generate, recycling and participating in cleanup and awareness raising actions.

“Let’s Cleanup Europe” Campaign

The actions of this year's campaign in Greece took place between 4 and 25 May, without this meaning that you may not schedule your cleanup any other date until the end of June.  

So contact your friends, schoolmates and colleagues and organize an outing to cleanup from litter a nearby beach, park, forest area or even your neighborhood.

REGISTER YOUR PARTICIPATION NOW!


COORDINATOR
Name:
Surname:
E-mail:
Telephone:
Address:
City:
Prefecture:
Zip Code:
   
COMPANY ORGANIZATION
Name:
E-mail:
Telephone:
Address:
City:
Prefecture:
Zip Code:
 
Name of beach/
river/lake/forest/park
Area:
State:
Coordinates:
CLEAN UP
Type of Clean Up:
Date:
Start time:
Stop time:
Nr of Participants:


WHEN YOU REGISTER your clean-up, SEE THE ACTION ON THE MAP



HELMEPA provides participants with electronic supporting material, while providing publicity and promoting the voluntary actions throughout Greece via its website and its Facebook page

Fill in the Special Trash Data Form

Download Beach Cleanup data recording sheet
Download Underwater Cleanup data recording sheet

Are you an iPhone or android user?
Record the waste through the electronic application Marine Litter Watch


The European Environment Agency has developed a modern e-tool, which allows volunteers who take part in beach cleanups to record easily, quickly and clearly the waste they collect, using their smartphone or tablet.

Besides its practicality, Marine Litter Watch (MLW) is compatible and coherent with the sampling methodology developed by the European Union on monitoring marine litter in a standardized monitoring approach, which ensures the collection of scientific data. This is of particular importance as marine litter is one of the key indicators used for monitoring and improving the environmental status of beaches and coastal waters of the EU countries, in accordance with the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).

MLW is available online for free for any interested user. You can download for android devices and i-phone / i-pad. Join HELMEPA's community of volunteer users and find detailed information about the on-line registration of waste.

Thus, apart from informing and raising awareness among participants, qualitative and measurable data are exported using the citizen science approach, which is widely promoted the last few years across Europe.

Useful Advice

BEACH CLEANUPS

  • choose the location of your cleanup, get the key local stakeholders involved and advertise your cleanup activity throughout your community, urging everyone to come along and take part!

  • don’t forget to wear gloves and take a camera! send your photos to HELMEPA at environment@helmepa.gr

  • Remember! recording everything you find and sending us this data will help us understand the problem of marine litter better and fight the issue

  • HAVE FUN!

UNDERWATER CLEANUPS

  • never dive alone and make sure you let the local port authorities know about your underwater cleanup, requesting any special permit if necessary

  • start by recording anything that’s floating on the surface of the sea and then get stuck into the “nitty gritty” below

  • collect recyclable items (e.g. plastic bottles) and hazardous items (like batteries whose chemicals may seep into the sea)

  • don’t try and pull huge, heavy items from the seabed that are stuck there

  • notify the local port authorities about any massive items on the seabed or about any metal barrels or other metallic items lining the sea floor so that they can handle them

  • don’t forget to take your underwater camera! send us pics to environment@helmepa.gr

  • KEEP SAFE AND ENJOY!


GENERAL

  • Do you know how many years it takes for certain everyday household items to dissolve in the sea? Check out the poster

  • Are you recycling at home? We can recycle more than you might think… Get to know all the different items in the home that you can recycle and get started today! Check out the poster



Get active on social media!

Join us on facebook

After your cleanup event is over, send us photos from the day to email environment@helmepa.gr and we’ll post them on our facebook page!

 

A few words about European Clean-Up Day 2017
European Cleanup Day was organized and co-ordinated in Greece by HELMEPA on 5 - 25 May 2017, with actions continuing to take place during June.

In total 5,402 volunteers, from 167 public and private stakeholders organised 127 beach, underwater, riverbank, lake-side, forest, park and other natural area cleanup activities, covering a distance amounting to 83 km. The volunteers collected 6.8 tons of rubbish, of which 2.6 tons were recycled in collaboration with the Hellenic Recovery Recycling Corporation (HE.R.R.Co).

As the volunteers, young and old, descended on beaches, rivers and lakes, they recorded the items of litter on special Data Sheets, which HELMEPA provided. The results made up the Top 10 of most common items of trash that pollute our natural environment.
Type (pieces)
Cigarette ends 21,730
Plastic pieces less than 2.5 cm   8,458
Food wraps   6,026
Plastic bottles   4,645
Straws   4,581
Plastic bottle caps   4,177
Plastic bags   2,852
Plastic lids   2,231
Foam pieces less than 2.5 cm   2,187
Glass pieces less than 2.5 cm   2,231
 
In total, volunteers collected 75,889 pieces of litter, from the tiniest pieces of foam to a gym mattress and even some rubbish bins! Unfortunately, cigarette filters are, once again, the "champions" prevailing on the top of the list of common marine litter items. This is characteristic of the indifference and ignorance of people about the damage that even the smallest item of rubbish can cause to the natural environment. Worrying is also the fact that 2 out of 3 items are plastic, which are associated to recreational activities and remain in the environment for long periods of time. Let us consider that the annual production of plastic has now exceeded 300 million tons and according to a recent survey, there may be more plastic than fish in the ocean, by weight, by 2050!

Once again this year, it was remarkable that the education community was greatly involved in this initiative. Children and young student members of the "HELMEPA Junior" and "Cadets" Programs, together with their teachers, as well as other students of all ages, from 82 Kindergartens, Primary, Junior and Senior High Schools gave their own special touch to the activities of the Campaign.

Cleanup actions were also organized by 7 HELMEPA member-companies, local authorities, other companies and organizations, protected areas management authorities, environmental organizations and cultural associations, nautical clubs, citizens' groups and divers. Τhe participation of Coast Guard Officers, from 17 Coast Guard Stations and Port Authorities, was also significant. With instructions given to them by the Marine Environment Protection Directorate of the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy, they supported the organization and implementation of activities on a local scale.

Photographs from last year's cleanup activities throughout Europe are available here



 
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