Volunteers Collect More Than 13 Tons of Garbage from Greek Beaches



Volunteers showing their handiwork after one of HELMEPA’s events in Vravrona. Photo credit: helmepa.gr

Over thirteen tons of garbage were collected from Greek beaches and the seabed in 145 separate cleaning operations between September and October 2019, the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association (HELMEPA) announced on Thursday.

The detritus was collected by a total of 6,500 volunteers, who pooled their efforts to make this all possible.

The organization coordinated the beach clean-ups for the 29th consecutive year in Greece as part of a global event called “International Beach Cleaning Volunteer Day.”

Over 73 kilometers (45 miles) of Greek coastline were cleaned, while volunteer scuba divers collected an impressive 1.5 tons of garbage from the seabed.

Graph credit: helmepa.gr

Cigarette butts were once again the most common type of garbage collected, followed by disposable plastics, including plastic bottles and straws.

Glass bottles, paper, plastic bags and styrofoam were also among the most frequently found refuse items on Greek beaches.

”As it is well known, plastic pollution has reached every corner of the planet – from the most remote and uninhabited places to the depths of the oceans – and through the food chain may also end up on our plate. So it is vital that we all become part of the solution to limit this serious environmental problem,” HELMEPA noted in its announcement.

HELMEPA volunteers at one of the beach cleanups in Heraklion, Crete. Photo credit: helmepa.gr