ATHENS – The island of Sikinos will be the first to enter the programme “Sea Change” organised by the A. K. Laskaridis Foundation and eliminate the use of plastic straws this summer, in a bid to protect the marine environment in the Cyclades archipelago.
The municipality and the island’s residents have promised to replace plastic straws with reusable and biodegradable straws that will be provided by the Laskaridis Foundation, in a campaign that was symbolically launched last Sunday but will be marked by an event open to the public to be held this Saturday evening at the Sikinos School.
This will include speeches and an open discussion on the risks from disposable plastic, as well as screenings of the documentary ‘Egeo – The sea for me’ and ‘Straws’. It will end with the signature of an agreement with any resident or business that wants to support the switch from plastic to biodegradable straws.
The Laskaridis Foundation will then pick up the plastic straws from all those that sign agreements and replace them with the same quantity of biodegradable straws, as well as a ‘Sea Change Sikinos’ cup. During the three-day weekend, foundation teams will work with the municipality and volunteers in beach-cleaning activities, recording the results for research purposes.
After the summer, we will return and measure the results, clean the beaches again and carry out educational and citizen science programmes, said the executive head of the Laskaridis Foundation Aggeliki Kosmopoulou.
Over the coming months, the programme will also be extended to more Cyclades islands, while it is planned to last for five years.
Kosmopoulou noted that plastic straws are among the most frequently encountered types of refuse on Greek beaches, ranking 11th overall, and is used for just a few minutes, as well as being entirely non-essential. “A reduction in their use and their replacement by straws made of other materials, reusable or friendly to the environment, makes a difference. It is a small change with an immediate and important result,” she said.