A few months ago, Aegean Rebreath in collaboration with the Municipality of Antiparos and with the support of Pepsico Hellas,designed and implemented an innovative program. A program that included holistic interventions while promoting the principles of the circular economy and environmental democracy through the participation and mobilization of the entire local community.

The program introduced the placement of three-stream recycling bins for plastic, glass and aluminum in 10 organized beaches of the island as well as in three seaside restaurants and bars, while aimed at raising awareness of the local community, the HORECA businesses and visitors. The bins placed on the beaches were designed and built from scratch by upcycling 400kg of bottle caps that had been collected by residents and the municipality during the previous years. At the same time, the bins were equipped with reusable bags, in order to avoid the consumption of single-use plastics.

The implementation of the pilot program and the collection of recyclable materials from beach bins started at the end of July and achieved impressive results. By the end of October, when the trial period ended, the bins had already collected 14,050 recyclable materials (9,100 plastic pieces, 3,350 glass pieces, 1,600 aluminum pieces), that were transported to recycling facilities. However, we consider the training of the municipality staff and the active participation of the local community as a great step.

In this context and following the previous initiatives and projects that Aegean Rebreath developed in cooperation with the local authorities can be perceived as a guide for the rest of the islands, both in terms of preserving the coastal and the marine environment as well in terms of changing the local culture.