Promoting the use of tap water

This project is an innovative venture that aims to activate the local community of Alonissos regarding the use of tap water. The content of the project was formed after consultation with Nina Schnabel, a regular visitor to Greece but also a constant supporter of our work, who wanted to encourage and finance the implementation of a project that would aim to promote tap water and reduce single-use plastics.
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. Our database captures the scale of the problem: 25% of litter found on our seabeds and beaches is plastic water bottles. In this context, it was deemed appropriate that the implementation of such a project should concern an island that would be a member of the Blue Municipalities Network.

Phase 1: Investigating the interest of the members of the Blue Municipalities Network

Aiming to determine the appropriate island, our organization sent a call to the members of the Blue Municipalities Network in order to determine the islands that would be interested in the implementation of such a project. The selection of the beneficiary would be based on specific criteria presented in a questionnaire sent to network members. Within twenty days the process was completed with the selection of the island of Alonissos.

Phase 2: Investigating the interest of the local community and determining beneficiaries

In collaboration with the Municipality of Alonissos, the interest of the local community was investigated for the installation of 22 reverse osmosis filters in schools, municipal services, hotels, restaurants and homes. Through an electronic questionnaire, the residents were invited to declare their interest and provide necessary information for the installation of the equipment. Within a month the process was completed and the beneficiaries were determined.

Phase 3: Implementation and installation

Following the supply of the relevant filters, a specialized crew went to the island, installed the equipment and trained the residents. All the filters were installed according to the original objectives, ensuring the inclusion of homes, businesses and municipal bodies in this innovative project.

Phase 4: Monitoring and evaluation (results)

Apart from reducing single-use plastic, the initial goal of the project was to draw conclusions for the formation of a new innovative model that can be applied to the rest of the Greek islands. These conclusions will be drawn on the basis of monitoring the use of drinking water by the beneficiaries compared to bottled water in a specific time frame. Beneficiaries were asked to provide data on drinking water consumption which led to clear conclusions about the added value of the project.
Over a 580-day trial period following the filters’ installation the testing points saved the equivalent of 90,365 plastic bottles not being used. Testers also noted that the switch to the filters was simple and did not affect their water consumption or water utility bill. In total, the residents’ savings amounted to 27,190 Euro.
Our organization disseminated the data that arised to the other members of the Blue Municipalities Network.

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