Scouts in Greece Join Forces with WWF to Fight Plastic Pollution
Scouts in Greece have partnered with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to launch a new program called "Adopt a beach" in order to collect plastic waste from the shores of the country. The cleaning action is part of the citizens science initiative of which the Greek Scouts are a strategic partner.
The program will create an integrated national platform for recording plastic pollution on Greek beaches, a highly efficient approach, as data collection is key in tackling the problem. The main findings will be reflected in an annual report, which will be sent to public services, municipal authorities and research bodies.
The program started as a pilot project in May 2021, with 22 groups of volunteers having already adopted 26 beaches in various parts of Greece, from Thessaloniki to Chania. On average, 925 wastes per 100 meters of coastline have beenrecorded, at a time when the EU has set a maximum limit of 20 wastes per 100 meters in order to maintain the good environmental condition of the coastline. The recordings also showed that the most common waste on the beaches are cigarettes, plastic caps, straws and baby wipes.
Each team could adopt a specific beach and was trained by WWF Hellas in the process of monitoring and recording waste. The action is planned to be repeated periodically 2 to 4 times a year to create time series and the data from the recordings are registered on the website Adopt a beach in order to be publicly available to everyone.
As a strategic partner of the "Adopt a Beach" program, the Greek Scouts have actively participated in the collective efforts of mobilizing its members throughout Greece and raising awareness among young people about the problem of plastic pollution.
The Chief Commissioner Mr. Christoforos Mitromaras stated:
The Scouts, as pioneers in environmental protection and as Proud Ambassadors of the SDGs, join their forces with WWF Hellas. Through the innovative, environmental citizen science program we aim for the next two years to collect quantitative and qualitative data on coastal plastic pollution of selected beaches in Greece .
It is also noted that the program is implemented with the support of the Hellenic Center for Marine Research and the process of recording marine litter is carried out based on the protocol of the European Group for the monitoring of coastal litter pollution.
According to the promoters of the program, the findings of the "Adopt a beach" campaign will also be used to advocate for more ambitious measures to limit disposable plastic products and to minimize the leakage of plastic waste from the waste management system.