We thank Yannis Varouhas who organised a very successful screening of the documentaries "A Plastic Ocean" and "Straws" in Argostoli. The event was open and free to all. The documentaries instigated a big discussion, led by local experts and concerned community leaders, with the public about plastic pollution, current recycling in Kefalonia, and what more can be done by citizens to confront this problem. In Mr. Varouhas' own words:
“The documentary screening, which took place at the “The Bee's Knees” bar in Argostoli last Monday, has incited great interest and mobilization of the local community about plastic pollution in the ocean. Yannis Varouhas’ presentation and Kostas Prentzas’ thought provoking speech were followed by two short documentaries ("A Plastic Ocean" and "Straws") grabbed the audience’s attention. The most valuable aspect of the evening was the subsequent open discussion; we consider this event to have been our most successful to date, as we had the opportunity to hear a lot of valuable opinions from our fellow citizens.
A pressing issue was brought to the surface, which we have repeatedly dealt with in the past: whether the Municipality of Kefalonia does indeed recycle properly. Despite the admittedly unconvincing answers that we have been publicly given by the municipal authority, our discussion revealed that there is a lot of mistrust among the citizens. We believe that all citizens should recycle, and at the same time all citizens have the right to know from the authorities how this is taking place.
It became clear to all of us that the destruction caused by marine pollution is almost irreversible. It is imperative that we stop burdening our oceans immediately so that there is enough time to eventually dispose of the plastic the oceans have been poisoned with. In the meantime, the efforts of individual citizens and collectives for voluntary cleaning during the winter months should not diminish; plastic should not find its way back into the ocean (our goal is to protect the sea, not to clean the island’s beaches just to attract tourists, as some people thought).
We have realised that our daily routines though small when considered separately, have terrifying results as a whole. That's why we have agreed amongst ourselves to ban single use plastic - plastic bags, plastic straws, plastic bottles and all disposable plastic that can be easily replaced by great and harmless alternatives! [...]
Our work on plastic pollution will not be limited to this intervention; we already have proposals from collectives that wish to repeat this intervention (in Lixouri for example) in other areas of the island. We are very optimistic and we will strive for change by joining forces with anyone who wishes to collaborate with us. Engaging everyone in society on the topic of plastic pollution is not a luxury but a necessity and obligation for us all. In the following link to our webpage you can find videos from the event as well as photos by Panagis Kavallieratos.”