LIFE DEBAG against plastic bags
The Ecological Recycling Society joined forces with MEDSOS, the University of Patras, TERRA NOVA and the Research University Institute of Sustainable Development and Human Resources to implement an integrated information and awareness-raising campaign to reduce plastic bag pollution in the marine environment. The campaign was carried out at national level, with a specific pilot at local level on the Greek island of Syros.
The main objective of LIFE DEBAG was to change consumer behaviour. In particular, the project aimed to increase knowledge and create awareness of the problem of plastic bag use and disposal at national level, to ensure a sense of public ownership to build support for relevant measures, to improve educational efforts directed towards teachers and pupils, and to contribute to changing Greece to a sustainable society.
On Syros, the project conducted a rigorous assessment of the marine litter load on the island’s beaches and seafloor using drones, towed underwater cameras and underwater remote operated vehicles (ROV).
At national level, an intensive information campaign was developed, involving TV and radio, printed publications and electronic newsletters, and social media, which succeeded in reaching approximately 600,000 people. A national voluntary agreement was reached with five supermarket chains (representing more than 50% of Greece’s market share), containing a variety of measures to reduce plastic bag consumption.
The project also organised seven stakeholder consultation forums that brought all the pertinent stakeholders together for the first time. Networking activities involved 95 groups in Greece and six other EU countries. The project finally developed a Replication Handbook, which summarises the steps interested parties can take to reduce consumption of plastic bags and other single-use plastic items.