Plastic Pollution Beach Cleanup at the LefkoGaia Recycle Project

Plastic Pollution. Lefkas (Lefkada) is an amazing island on the west coast of Greece. We lived here on our boat in a part that was surrounded
by wetlands and salt flats. So without a car we walked and cycled everywhere. We also discovered the huge amount of wildlife that lived here such as swans,
flamingos, egrets, ducks as well as turtles, butterflies and amphibians. We also found a lot of rubbish including
plastic which was polluting this special environment. Some was just washed up
along the coast and the rest seemed to be dumped. It looked like people would
drive into the wetlands and offload their rubbish rather than take it to the
dump. In the marina some liveaboards were
organising their own recycling system – cans and plastic bottles were being
collected in the community room and then taken on their fold up bikes to a
recycling project every week. This project is called LefkoGaia. My name is Thomas and I work in the recycle co-operative company and we have a private place – we rent this place and we we recycle.. this place here you rent? Yes. Okay so this is the building you rent. And how much do you have to pay to rent this building? We pay very month about 300 Euros And we recycle [electric cookers] televisions – we have a small car we can bring it. You can collect it. Yes we have a telephone number. Right show me what else you do – let’s take a look. Plastic bottle – only the PET ones, not the hard bottles. Crush it – put the tops here. This is a different type of plastic Aluminium cans – Coca Cola, beer, something like that. Metals. Cooking oils – and we well it. This is boxes full from the restaurants. Batteries. Batteries from the
boat – all the kinds of batteries from the cars. Like that and bigger of course yeah
until 30 40 kilos it’s very important. The dark plastic or the white plastic. We press. Paper from the supermarkets. People with supermarkets they bring with their own cars. People help us very very many many times. And you are the helpers Andrew? Yes. I’m really enjoying coming here helping. I come once a week, one morning a week We put the paper – small paper – we put it in the machine, push it down and press like that We make like that. 100 kilo Yeah, seven cents per kilo – about 7 Euros Wow, that’s a lot of cardboard and it’s very little isn’t it a lot of
work to get a small amount of Euros? and you can weigh it on that. All this kinds of metal. Plastic. The government provide a container, yes, the recycle company in the government. In the website we have a telephone number if someone is impossible to bring here one
big frigerator he can call me and there I go I visit him and collect it. Okay that’s good to know. This is our van. So you can collect it in this van. It’s very important some people if they can help us even with money because we need electric – we have electric now from the
car service we want to do to put there our own electric – it’s about 400 or 500 We haven’t this money at the moment but in the future until the spring time we have to
do it because we have only two lights – two lights that
work yes in this recycling building. But we survive, we try to survive. Lefko Gaia is a nonprofit social enterprise whose aim is to collect and sell
recyclable materials. The proceeds from which will go towards maintaining this
project and especially funding educational programs to profile the
importance of environmental issues to children and adults in the local
community. Lefko Gaia is run by a cooperative group of local people
passionate about protecting and enhancing the environment of Lefkada If we’ve got any clean water bottles we can recycle them – and they go in that one. So we’ve sailed away from Lefkada in Greece now and hopefully left it
better than when we found it even a little bit. We’ve met people everywhere
who want to make a change and we think that if everyone does a little bit we
will all see a difference. Why is this beach so important Jane? It’s
the turtle beach where the turtles come and lay their eggs. So one small patch is cleared of plastic. If everyone does a little bit we will all see a difference so you can organize a
massive beach cleanup or pick up three bits of plastic to leave a place more
beautiful than when you found it. Just putting our three bits of plastic – maybe more – in the bin off the beach.

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