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First plastic straw free island in Greece

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By Euronews
First plastic straw free island in Greece

The island of Sikinos is looking to be the first Greek island to eliminate the use of plastic straws this summer.

Residents of the island have promised to replace plastic straws with reusable and biodegradable ones.

Plastic straws are said to be one of the common types of rubbish found on Greek beaches.

Aggeliki Kosmopoulou is executive director of the Laskaridi Foundation, the organisation behind the initiative. She explains how plastic straws damage the environment .

''The plastic straw is something small and looks innocent. We use it for a short while, for a few minutes mainly for fun, to enjoy our drink or our coffee, but this remains in nature for 200 years and it doesn't break down," she says. "It stays there forever. And not only does it not decompose, but it breaks into very small pieces, that hurt or kill sea animals and ends up in our food through fish.''

It's estimated Europeans produce around 25 million tonnes of plastic waste every year. And less than 30% is recycled. 

Fay Doulgkeri, Euronews correspondent, says each year at least eight million tonnes of plastic ends up in the sea. Plastic straws are the eleventh most common type of rubbish found in Greek waters. This data shows that reducing or even stopping completely the use of plastic straws would be an important step towards protecting marine life.