Beach cleanup campaign starts next week


With hundreds of Greek beaches awarded Blue Flags this year as a sign of their cleanliness, the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association (HELMEPA) is appealing to citizens to ensure the country’s coastline remains pristine by participating in a cleanup campaign starting next week.

The monthlong drive is to start on September 19, International Coastal Cleanup Day.

According to conservation groups, more than half a million cigarette butts were collected from Greek beaches between 2004 and 2014.

Over the years, the trend of discarding bulky garbage, such as construction site waste, spare parts and household appliances, has abated, though plastic waste – chiefly shopping bags, cups and packaging – still accounts for much of the garbage collected from Greek beaches.