The program “Small Actions, Big Crimes” is an innovative environmental initiative implemented in the municipalities of Rafina-Pikermi and Naxos Island with the support of British American Tobacco Hellas. It combines research and awareness actions to combat the reckless disposal of cigarette butts and aims to collect real data. Additionally, it promotes the development of evidence-based proposals, raises public awareness, and fosters a change in public behavior towards more sustainable practices.

Art installation

The project’s inception featured the establishment of an original installation in the central squares of Rafina and Naxos. The installation depicted a real “crime scene,” featuring a fish and a turtle alongside a realistic replica of a giant cigarette to raise public awareness about environmental protection.

Satellite mapping of congested areas

For the first time in Greece, measurements were conducted using advanced satellite systems to identify points where the problem of reckless cigarette butt disposal was prevalent. According to the measurements, the beaches and ports of Rafina and Naxos were identified as the areas most burdened with cigarette butts.

Installation of special bins (ashtrays) and signage

To prevent the reckless dumping of cigarette butts in the environment, special bins (ashtrays) were placed in 50 central locations in the towns of Rafina and Naxos, including ports and several beaches. Additionally, special signage was installed to inform the public about the negative effects of cigarette butt pollution in the marine environment. The data collected provide significant insights into the impact of our intervention.

The first results of the project!

Within the first two years, there was a significant reduction of 62% in the number of cigarette butts discarded on the ground in the Rafina area and 54% on Naxos Island. Furthermore, the installed collectors (bins) contributed to the collection of more than 255,000 cigarette butts. The presented data also showed a significant decrease in the reckless disposal of cigarette butts in the cities’ hotspots and beaches, as captured by the satellite measurements. Additionally, findings from qualitative research aiming to gauge the local community’s perception of the program’s effectiveness were communicated. Based on this research, it appears that 93% of participants in Rafina and 88% on Naxos Island believe that the program will offer significant benefits to the region.

For more information about the program, please click here.

Watch the relevant video!