ZaCLEANthos consists of a small group of volunteers on Zakinthos Island who clean up areas of the island that are littered, such as roads, beaches and olive groves. We got in contact with the group's founders, Vendula Vasickova and Liz Kokkinis. Here is what they said:
"Garbage collection and litter has been a huge problem in Zakynthos for years, last winter it hit its peak as bins were not emptied for over 6 months, rotten garbage overflowed the streets, beaches were strewn with carrier bags and plastic and the olive groves collected all the litter that was blown away by strong storms and flood water. Garbage collection started again over the summer period while the tourists were here but has now stopped again, we have piles of growing garbage again littering our streets.
Some locals have started to recycle, you can’t drink the tap water here in Zakynthos so the waste produced through water bottles alone is huge, but not enough people are recycling, if you look at the rubbish piles on the sides of the road you can see much more could be recycled. Unfortunately most people here don’t care, they throw rubbish out of car windows, leave litter on the beaches and throw unwanted household appliances wherever they can.
The ZaCLEANthos was formed less than 4 months ago but in that time we have organised 6 clean ups, collected over 50 bags of garbage and 25 bags of recycling. People are interested in what we do and our members are growing. We hope to set an example to others, encourage people to think about their actions and keep their neighbourhood clean."
It may take only 2 minutes, or maybe a whole morning - but every bit helps. Removing plastic waste from beaches is one DEFINITE way of making sure it does not end up in the ocean. Send us photos of your beach clean ups, we want to see you in action! We will gladly and proudly repost them to inspire others to do the same!
These are all great accounts to follow on Instagram for beach clean ups around the world:
@2minutebeachclean based in Cornwall, UK
@balloonsblow based in Florida, USA.