Press Release, Mediterranean SOS Network
The launch of project A.S.A.P. (Active Skiathos Against Plastic bag) in Skiathos during June 16-18, 2017 was very successful indeed. The project which is funded by the BeMed – Beyond Plastic Med initiative, Thalassa Foundation, the Municipality of Skiathos, the Mediterranean SOS Network and the Cultural Association of Skiathos aims to reduce the use of plastic bags on the island following the successful implementation of actions scheduled to last for 14 months.
The first scheduled action was a symbolic beach cleanup, in Xanemos, with the participation of students and teachers of the 2nd Primary School of Skiathos, representatives of the Municipality, the Cultural Association, Thalassa Foundation and the Mediterranean SOS network.
On Saturday, June 17th, many locals were present in an informative meeting on the A.S.A.P. project, its actions and the next steps, again with the participation of representatives from Thalassa Foundation, the Municipality of Skiathos, the Cultural Association, as well as super market, hotel and rooms-to-let owners, the Greek Guiding Association, the Mediterranean SOS Network, etc. proving, in the most emphatic way, their interest and commitment to the best possible implementation of the project and the rendering of Skiathos to a plastic bag free island.
The meeting was followed by a Press Conference given by the Vice-Mayor of Skiathos Mr. Costis Yannitsis, the President of the Cultural Association of Skiathos Mr. Thodoris Tzoumas, the special associate of the Municipality of Skiathos Ms. Aggeliki Mythi and the Mediterranean SOS Network’s Project Manager of A.S.A.P, Ms. Christina Garoufalia.
Mr. Yannitsis underlined that this project can act as a growth tool for Skiathos, by making the island known as a “green” destination which will in turn attract environmentally aware tourists and will upgrade tourism on the island. Among other points made, Mr. Tzoumas referred to the hopeful prospects of the project attributed to the already high environmental sensitization of Skiathos’ residents. Last, Ms. Garoufalia emphasized that the “cornerstone” for the successful implementation of the project is none other than the change in mentality and everyday practice, and for this to be achieved time and synchronized efforts are of the essence.
The three-day actions were followed by a visit to the island of Alonissos, the first island to undertake a plastic bag free project, with the aim of networking and exchange of ideas between the two neighbouring islands.
Until the next visit of the project’s team in Skiathos there are some steps to be taken e.g. recording of residents’, business people and tourists’ views through the filling-in of questionnaires, along with the continual dissemination of the project and awareness raising of all involved.