Areas of interest
Education, Sustainability


Geographical area
Tinos, Syros, Andros, Santorini, Naxos

The challenge

The challenge of plastic pollution in the Cyclades, exacerbated by the influx of tourists during the summer months and the limitations of the recycling system, requires a multifaceted approach involving various stakeholders.

The solution

Some of the actions that contribute to the plastic reduction include public awareness and education programs, infrastructure improvement, promotion of sustainable tourism practices, as well as beach and coastal clean-up initiatives. Collaboration between government agencies, local communities, businesses, and non-governmental organizations is essential to address this urgent environmental challenge effectively.

In 2019 the European Parliament approved a new law banning single-use plastic items such as plates, cutlery, straws and cotton bud sticks by the year 2021. The CPF saw this legal pathway as an opportunity for residents and tourists on the islands to contribute to the reduction of plastic waste by:

  • Reconsidering daily plastic consumption
  • Incorporating plastic reduction into everyday routines
  • Seeing plastic reduction as beneficial for a sustainable tourism industry

Project’s deliverables

To achieve this goal CPF joined forces with Nefeli Publishing and OPUS CULTURE to create an educational children’s book and a parallel educational program about the effects of plastic waste. Children are the ideal starting point for initiating such new approaches. Not only are they the future guardians of the planet but they are also directly influencing their social environment (teachers, families, friends).

The educational book aimed to:

  • Educate children on the “history” of plastic in an easy and playful way, by discussing its various uses and what citizens can do to reduce its everyday use.
  • Inform school communities of the new environmental legislation, so that they comply with EU management waste policies themselves.
  • Encourage the adoption of new everyday habits to introduce a sustainable waste consumption and management attitude through the 4R concept (refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle) and to reduce our carbon footprint.

2021 was an online year due to COVID-19 restrictions. With the help of OPUS culture and the new environmental aims of the Greek ministry of education, we managed to roll out our project to 150 students from the Elementary School of Pyrgos in Santorini and 15 students from the Primary and Elementary schools of Thirasia.

2022 was a triumphant year for Me & My Plastic since after 2 years of online teaching, the MMP educators were able to travel to Tinos, Syros, Andros, Santorini, Naxos and deliver their program to thirteen schools in person. The program was also rolled out in two Athenian schools. In 2022 the project was hosted at the Athens Science festival and received huge interest by students and teachers.

Useful material/ resources

Educational resources for teachers

‘Me and My Plastic’ Children’s Book

Project updates

In 2024 the project was scaled up after securing additional funding from the Conservation Collective through their Depeche Mode & Hublot partnership during the Memento Mori world tour.

During 2024, the project is traveling in 13 Cycladic islands, implementing 72 educational activities to schools, establishing water filters in 10 schools and organising two public raising awareness events with multiple workshops for children and adults. The program is designed to encourage children and their families to lead a lifestyle with less single-use plastic. The program is also this year implemented with the cooperation of KEPEA of Syros and Andros as well as with the participation of the clothing management program FABRIC republic and the REPAIR café initiative, which focuses on the repair and reuse of small electronic devices.

About the Grantee

Opus Culture has been a non-profit organization for promoting culture since 2012. Its activities involve the production and distribution of specialized training material, promotional brochures and other printed and electronic material. The company’s objective is to strengthen the cooperation with institutions and non-governmental and similar networks in Greece and abroad and to organize research teams both in the Greek community and in the wider European area.

Nefeli Publishing is based in Athens, Greece. Since its founding in 1979, it has published more than 1500 titles. By maintaining a long standing dedicated title series with an emphasis on subject depth and thoroughness, NEFELI has been a major contributor to the promotion of literature and academia in Greece and is reputed for its quality, both in terms of production values and in regard to the choice and editing of the texts.