Gone are days that you’ll see cigarette butts in the sand or smell wafts of smoke in the air at Marikes beach in Rafina, a destination popular for its port, wind- and kitesurfing action and summer residences.
The environmental program “Small acts, Big Crimes” which drives eco-initiatives around eastern Attica, has launched the program for Marikes, as recently announced by the mayor of Rafina-Pikermi and the director-general of the Rafina Port Authority.
This initiative follows a similar project launched in Serifos in 2019, namely at Vagia beach near Megalo Livadi in the southwestern part of the island, where smoking is now forbidden.
Also in 2019, Astypalea island declared itself the first smoke free Greek island, launching a campaign that was sponsored by Philip Morris International.
Last year, a pilot program to prohibit cigarette butts from Rafina’s beaches was presented by an organization called Aegean Rebreath, a multi-sectoral organization working on the protection and renewal of the marine environment, in collaboration with Rafina’s local authorities.
The program led to the placement of special bins for cigarette butts at various points of the town and on beaches.
Cigarette butts are shown to make up 40-60% of beach pollution in Greece.
This article first appeared in Greece Is (www.greece-is.com), a Kathimerini publishing initiative.