A unique project was completed in Alonissos

What can be the result of a synergy among a foreign visitor to our country, an environmental organization, the local authorities and the local community of an island aiming to promote drinking water in order to deal with the phenomenon of plastic bottle pollution? An innovative pilot program!

In Greece, the use of bottled water, especially in the summer months, dramatically increases the use of plastic and the amount of waste that our islands are often unable to manage. Aegean Rebreath’s database captures the magnitude of the problem. 25% of the waste found on our seabeds and beaches is plastic water bottles!

This sad reality does not go unnoticed by visitors to our country. A few months ago, Nina Schnabel, who regularly supports the work of Aegean Rebreath and often visits Greece, wanted to support a pilot project at a member of the Blue Municipalities Network, which would focus on reducing the use of bottled water bottles by promoting the use of tap water. Alonissos was one of the first islands that expressed interest and met the conditions for implementation.

It only took around 1.5 months for the project to complete as Aegean Rebreath and the Municipality of Alonissos cooperated in a targeted and efficient manner. The beginning was made with a consultation developed with the local community, citizens and businessmen who expressed interest in installing the water filters and then the beneficiaries were selected based on criteria. In total, 22 reverse osmosis filters were installed in schools, municipal buildings, hotels and businesses as well as in homes.

The aim of this initiative is the reduction of plastics, the utilization of the results and conclusions regarding the added value of the interventions that could be a model for the rest of the Greek islands. In the coming months, the partners’ effort is expected to focus on documenting the impact of the program in terms of plastic reduction.

Once again, we would like to warmly thank Nina Schnabel not only for her continuous support but also for her determination to support practices that can be a guide. She proves in the best possible way that environmental problems have no borders.

“This project is important and at the same time symbolic as we must urgently deal with the problem of marine pollution from its source. We cannot ignore the findings, however, we must certainly develop practices that will be used by society as a whole and respond to the challenges of each region. We hope that Alonissos will be an example for the rest of the islands” said the head of Aegean Rebreath, Mr. George Sarelakos.

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