Alonissos, Greece: Cleaning Up With Tech

The island city of Alonissos in Greece recently conducted a cleaning operation of its ports, beaches, and surrounding reefs in the Aegean Sea. The coastal cleaning was performed by an underwater robot, which also provided data on the microplastics concentration in the waters.  

Alonissos is a member of the Blue Municipalities Network – a group of 15 Aegean local authorities committed to the environmental protection of the sea. The network was created by Aegean Rebreath, an Athens based Greek NGO working on the protection and renewal of the marine environment, who assisted the city with the clean-up project. The network – which includes mayors, municipal officials, representatives of the Civil Society, and representatives of the Hellenic Center for Marine Research – seeks the development of good practices, the production of primary data, the development of recommendations to the central government, and the implementation of joint actions.  Aegean Rebreath continues to collect water samples from 20 different points around Greece’s coast, which are then examined by the Hellenic Center for Marine Research to determine the origin of the microplastics. 

The clean-up occurred in four different locations on the island, and in two days collected 900 kg of nets, 2 bags of fishing lines, 400 plastic bottles, 95 glass bottles, 26 car tires, 4 bags of plastic fragments, 110 plastic pipes, 78 tarpaulins, 3.5 bags of rope, 854 bottle caps, 2 beach umbrellas, 2 sunbeds, 1 chair and 1 boat ladder.

Alonissos Mayor Petros Vafinis said, “In Alonissos, “blue” has a “green” shade!”