Noted American actor Leonardo DiCaprio drew a rebuke from the mayor of the Aegean island of Andros for pointing out mountains of waste, a problem that has gone on there for eight years and has piled up in places.
“Unfortunately, the style of the post is unfair to us and gives the impression that the whole island is in this state,” Theodosis Sousoudis said, at the same time he acknowledged essentially that what the actor said was correct, while trying to downplay the problem.
Sousoudis acknowledged that the problem has existed since 2011, when “extreme weather pushed waste from a landfill 800 meters from the coast” into the sea, without explaining why it wasn’t cleaned up.
“Andros is very clean, the beaches are very clean, and we have seen a huge increase in tourism over the last three years,” he told One TV.
DiCaprio had posted a video of volunteers collecting waste from the seabed at Schinias Beach along with the comment:
“Plastic bags and toilet seats. Hundreds of discarded fishing nets. All of this was stuck to the seabed of Greece’s Andros island. Volunteers collected over 660lbs [272 kilograms] of plastic waste. But some say the microplastics leave an invisible imprint on the environment and even ourselves. They can be consumed by fish that then become a part of our diet.”