Here is another example of some individuals' efforts to raise the awareness about plastic pollution and to show how difficult it is for small island communities, which are tourist destinations like Schoinoussa in the Aegean and which have no or limited potable water supply (there is a small desalination plant, but people must go to the site to refill their containers), to cope with the incredible amount of resulting (plastic) trash. These small islands currently have no recycling capabilities and trash usually collects in (open air) landfills. Recyclables are not taken off the island to recycling plants - it is probably both a question of cost (Greece has hundreds of such islands, which are not large enough to have their own recycling plants) and a lack of organisation (ferries could theoretically be organised by municipalities to carry recyclables to nearby recycling facilities). The efforts behind Jeremy May and Eva Vazaka, the two people behind "PlasticBottleIt" (you can follow them on Facebook and/or Instagram) have for two years involved the community of Schoinoussa to build rafts made out of plastic bottles. The pair of architects have also very cleverly built a wind turbine with plastic bottles, which in the strong north wind that blows in Schoinoussa in the summer, can charge a mobile phone. Here is their story in Eva's own words:
"Jeremy and I have spent the last few summers on the small Greek island of Schoinoussa creating rafts made from plastic bottles. Schoinoussa consumes over 1000 bottles of mineral water a day during the summer months. Last summer we organised the 2nd workshop involving residents and tourists of the island. Over 2000 bottles were collected from 6 restaurants and 6 families in 3 days and we showed them how to build their own rafts. Our idea was for people to visualise the volume of plastic that ends up in a landfill and sometimes in the sea with great consequences! Forty children participated making three sea worthy rafts. Naxos radio interviewed us. Our latest project has been to develop a wind turbine using plastic water bottles. The turbine can generate enough power to charge up a mobile phone, on a windy day.
The residents have started promoting re-usable bags to reduce single-use plastic bags and they will be starting the trial this winter. We are in conversation with different companies to provide the island with paper and/or stainless steel straws for the restaurants and bars, re-usable plastic take away frappe cups and paper cotton buds. This is a very small island with currently no way of recycling. We want to "help" in setting up a recycling unit for everything that cannot be up-cycled or simply re-used."