This year, on every occasion the international community places an emphasis on plastic pollution and its detrimental impact on the terrestrial, marine and coastal environment. The themes of both the Earth Day, which was recently celebrated and the World Oceans Day that is fast approaching are centered on plastic pollution prevention, the need for urgent solutions and the link between the health of the oceans and humans. In shipping, the Member-States of the International Maritime Organization-IMO, in April 2018, decided the adoption of a special Action Plan, in the framework of the United Nations Agenda 2030, to address the serious threat posed by plastics.
Therefore, this year HELMEPA’s “Seagull” message “NO garbage, NO plastics in our seas and on our beaches” is as contemporary as ever, despite having already completed 34 years! This is also confirmed by the extensive amounts of plastics, such as straws, bottles, bags and packaging, which are collected every year by volunteers during cleanups of our country’s seabed, beaches, lakes, rivers and forests.
This summer’s public awareness campaign of HELMEPA, besides the “Seagull” spot broadcasted gratis by TV stations, also includes 2 posters designed by the creator of the “Seagull”, Mr. Stavros Georgiades.
The first poster with the Seagull flying above the coastline while removing bottles, cups and other plastics is addressed to the wider public. Its projection throughout Greece will be carried out by the 6,150 schoolchildren-members of the “HELMEPA Junior” program. The second poster, addressed to the wider maritime community, depicts the globe entrapped in a plastic bag. Its message “Keep Oceans Free of Plastics” will be projected worldwide by the Members of HELMEPA, 408 vessels, 180 managing companies and shipping organizations and 13,500 Greek seafarers.
May this awareness raising campaign highlight the threat of plastics and the duty of each and every one of us to wipe out this danger that we ourselves created!