• calendar

2022 ICC banner en



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


plastics animals gr


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.



 plastics seabirds en


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.


plastics 9 tips en



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


By organizing a voluntary coastal cleanup we spread a powerful message and we make an important additional step towards protecting our planet and keeping our seas, forests, rivers and natural environment clean.


For the 32nd consecutive year, HELMEPA coordinates in Greece the International Coastal Cleanup, the largest voluntary event of its kind in the world with over 15 million volunteers worldwide! The initiative, which is organized globally by the American NGO Ocean Conservancy, was launched on September 17 and in our country will last until November 17, 2022 and it is open to any person who wishes to express her/his sensitivity for the marine and coastal environment.


For companies, in particular, carrying out such an action at least twice a year enable them to further enhance their work on ESG-CSR issues, by expressing their commitment to environmental protection and promotion of sustainable development and creating a positive and measurable impact on society and the environment.


So far, more than 255,000 volunteers have participated in HELMEPA’s cleanup campaigns since 1983, organizing 4,200 cleanups and collecting 820 tons of garbage.


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)
  5. Marine Litter Watch (MLW) application of the European Environment Agency – EEA (if you wish to use this electronic tool to organize your cleanup event and record collected litter on site, please contact HELMEPA’s environmental sector for further guidance on how to join HELMEPA MLW community)