Under the sea: Fighting Greece's plastic trash problem

2018-04-05 22:13
Volunteers gather bags with garbage during a trash collection at Kolovrechtis wetland near Halkida, Evia island. (Thanassis Stavrakis, AP)

Volunteers gather bags with garbage during a trash collection at Kolovrechtis wetland near Halkida, Evia island. (Thanassis Stavrakis, AP)

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Legrena – Greece has the European Union's longest coastline, poor waste management and an addiction to single-use plastic that is littering the country's seabed.

To fight the problems, volunteer divers are working as underwater garbage collectors to clear debris – mostly plastic – that is littering the sea floor.

In January, the European Union launched a 12-year campaign to reduce plastic waste across its 28 member states.

But for Greeks – now accustomed to sipping coffee out of plastic cups using plastic straws and with kiosk beverage coolers within easy reach of every city dweller – it's become part of the lifestyle.

Only 16% of trash is recycled here, compared with the EU's average of 44%. And plastic is the most difficult trash to deal with.

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Read more on:    greece  |  water pollution
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