European Clean-Up Day


Now that the winter has passed, our forgotten beaches are in need of our attention once again! On the occasion of the European Cleanup Day, HELMEPA invites you to organize a cleanup of a nearby beach, park, forest, or your neighborhood, between 5 and 25 May. Therefore, gather your friends, classmates or colleagues and join us along with thousands of other volunteers who take part in the “Let's clean up Europe” campaign. Voluntary cleanups have mainly a symbolic character, as they send out a strong message for a cleaner environment.

"Let’s Clean up Europe"
European Clean-Up Day 5 - 25 May 2017

The European Commission supported the establishment of the European Clean-Up Day in 2014, as part of the "Let's clean up Europe" campaign. Following the invitation of the organizers, HELMEPA is acting as national coordinator of this European initiative in Greece for the 4th consecutive year. Students, parents, teachers, Port Authorities, Municipal and Regional Authorities, companies, embassies, environmental organizations, mountaineering and nature conservation societies, scuba-diving clubs, seafarers, sailing clubs, local associations, volunteer groups and anyone else wishing to express their gratitude towards the natural environment within which we live can register their participation now, by organizing the cleanup of a nearby beach, river or lake banks, parts of the seabed, forest areas, a park or any other place littered area in their neighborhood.

This year, the activities of the European Clean-Up Day will take place in Greece between 5 and 25 May.


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:
CLEAN UP SITE
Name of Beach:
Area:
State:
Coordinates:
CLEAN UP
Type of Clean Up:
Date:
Start time:
Stop time:
Nr of Participants:

When your action is registered, you will be able to view it 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
  • 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 separately recyclable items (e.g. plastic bottles) and hazardous waste (like batteries whose chemicals may seep into the sea)

  • Don’t try and remove huge, heavy items that are stuck on the seabed

  • Notify the local port authorities about any mass items such as metal barrels or other metallic items on the seabed 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 break-down 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 (in Greek)

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 2016

Approximatelly 6,036 volunteers conducted 126 cleanups of beaches, parts of the seabed, banks of rivers and lakes, forests and other natural areas covering a total length of 91 kilometers. They collected 13.5 tons of garbage of which 2.5 tons were recyclable materials that were recycled by the Hellenic Recovery Recycling Corporation (HE.R.R.Co), which supported the activities nationwide.

The volunteers recorded the litter findings on HELMEPA’s special data cards. This data was then processed and analysed providing useful findings regarding the quantities, types and origins of litter polluting the environment.

Top 10 litter items

Pieces

Cigarette ends

14,488

Pieces of plastic < 2.5cm in length

6,808

Plastic bottles

5,598

Food packaging

5,053

Straws

4,219

Plastic bottle caps

4,163

Plastic bags

3,961

Plastic container lids

2,499

Aluminium soft drink cans

2,436

Pieces of styrofoam < 2.5cm in length

2,374


It is evident from the Table of the Top 10 litter items that almost all of them are plastic. Worrying is also the fact that once again this year, the Table includes an increasing number of plastic pieces less than 2.5cm in length, thus demonstrating that these materials, which are synthetic, do not biodegrade. Instead, as time goes by, they break down into smaller pieces that travel with the wind and sea currents.

Among the waste items collected, most are related to recreational activities, volunteers found 2,833 paper and plastic plates / cups, 1,602 cigarette / tobacco packs, 1,598 paper bags, 1,175 glass bottles, 1,368 meters of rope and 669 meters of fishing line, 435 construction materials, 426 batteries of all kinds, 271 car tires, 71 electrical devices, 42 barrels, 10 carpets, 5 waste bins, 2 life jackets, 3 inflatable boats, 10 road marking cones and one diving suit!
The list of participating entities is at the link below (in greek):
http://www.helmepa.gr/pdf/ECD2016-GR-FOREIS.pdf





 
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