More than 1,100 plastic bottles and cups, 500 aluminum cans, 150 glass bottles and even a tractor wheel and a toilet bowl were collected in just a few hours by volunteer divers last weekend from a small part of the port of the popular Aegean island of Naxos.
The volume of waste served as a grim indication of the connection between tourism and marine pollution, and of what lies at the bottom of the Greek seas, as a result of the negligence of locals and visitors alike.
The operation was carried out by members of the Aegean Rebreath organization, which also inaugurated the islands’ first marine waste collection station. Bins were placed in the port’s fishing shelter so that fishermen can dispose of old nets and garbage they collect from the sea.
“In 2021, we inaugurated 10 garbage collection stations on an equal number of islands, increasing the number of islands hosting this project to 15,” said the group’s head, Giorgos Sarelakos.