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Thursday, 05 June 2014 13:43

Brits in Greece Join European Clean Up Day

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 Some of the volunteers at the Varkiza Beach Clean Up by British Embassy staff and families and friends, the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association - HELMEPA Cadets and staff from the Royal Bank of Scotland in Athens. Some of the volunteers at the Varkiza Beach Clean Up by British Embassy staff and families and friends, the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association - HELMEPA Cadets and staff from the Royal Bank of Scotland in Athens. UK in Greece

European clean up day for Brits in Greece turned out to be an Anglo-Greek endeavor. The British Embassy in Athens participated in the first ever European Clean-Up Day on May 10th in collaboration with the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association (HELMEPA) Cadets and the Royal Bank of Scotland. The three entities volunteers took part in a voluntary clean-up of Varkiza Beach on the outskirts of Athens. 

Intended as a fun day, some one hundred and fifty volunteers from all three organisations, including staff, family and friends took part in the clean-up. In welcoming the volunteers, the British Ambassador stressed the importance of the commitment to the protection of the marine environment; the responsible management and recycling of our litter and volunteering. 



The European Clean-Up Day is a project of the EWWR.eu group - The European Week for Waste Reduction. EWWR started in 1999 and is funded by the European Commission. The EWWR initiative addresses the need for environmental clean up on a platform of  the “3Rs”: Reduce waste, Reuse Products and Recycle Materials. in pursuit of a clean up of the environment.

Environmental community groups were invited to take part in European Clean-Up Day 2014 that is to become an annual event. In fact, EWWR encourages a wide range of target sectors that includes civil society as well as citizens themselves; private companies and  public authorities  to become the three pronged approach as illustrated by the British Embassy involvement along with the Royal Bank of Scotland and the HELMEPA NGO. 

This year has been the launch year for "Let’s Clean-Up Europe Day". More than 3300 clean-up actions were implemented all over Europe say organizers and on local territory across the whole of Greece. As a bottom-up initiative taking place for the first time in 2014, this was a great result according to EWWR!  

More on the HELMEPA Cadets Program

The Greek initiative is a group that guides today's interested Greek youth on the right path in life. In December 2013, the HELMEPA Cadets Program celebrated its 20th anniversary. 

HELMEPA itself was founded in 1982 by Greek seafarers and shipowners, who voluntarily pledged to participate in a joint effort towards preventing marine pollution from ships. HELMEPA’s mission is to foster environmental consciousness within the maritime community through information and awareness-raising for all, “from shipowner to the last seafarer”.  

Personal Participation

The EWWR initiative and the Euro clean-up day is not all about Marine ecology however but also land based clean up as well. In particular, it is intended to catch the attention of Europeans to the ugly side of waste and the core aim is to motivate as many citizens as possible to pick-up waste littered in the natural environment be it at sea or on land.

By active participation EWWR believes each person, including you, comes to realize how much waste is actually littered in their environment  while providing practical information through the 3R's  approach on the possibilities of reducing waste, reusing products and recycling materials.

The Objectives of EWWR's 3R's: 

- the First Objective is to Reduce waste by Strict Avoidance and Reduction at Source.

- the Second Objective is to Reuse - Preparing for Reuse and Reuse

- the Third Objective is to Recycle - Waste Sorting and Recycling

Notable business men like Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou (Greek-Cypriot founder of  the fabulously successful easyJet low cost airline) actively support HELMEPA.


Another Greek group active in Marine Conservation which participated in Europe Clean-Up Day and general marine cleanup activities  around the Greek coastline and the Black Sea is the Policy Oriented Marine Environmental Research  in the Southern European Seas. PERSEUS  in the short form.

Postscript: European Clean-Up Day, May 10, 2015

There is plenty of time to get involved with European Clean-Up Day, May 10, 2015 when this website, Brits in Crete will cover the event. Details of how your company or group can take part, you can contact the main website Let’s Clean Up Europe”.   

For the Greece regional website "European Clean-Up Day you can obtain further information about participation in Greece, visit Ευρωπαϊκή Ημέρα ΚαθαρισμούΚαλωσορίσατε στο διαδικτυακό τόπο των Ναυτίλων της HELMEPA or the main website for the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association - HELMEPA website at Η Ελληνική Ένωση Προστασίας Θαλασσίου Περιβάλλοντος

As for PERSEUS, this is a research consortium with representatives from many government and academic organizations across Europe expressly in Marine ecology. PERSEUS is Funded by the EU under FP7 Theme, “Oceans of Tomorrow” OCEAN.2011-3, Grant Agreement No. 287600.



Read 4946 times Last modified on Friday, 29 August 2014 18:01

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