Awareness is steadily growing around the impact of single use plastic on the environment, and straws in particular, which used daily, contribute to landfill and have a negative impact on oceanic ecosystems.

To do their part, the Municipality of Sikinos, a Greek island located in the Cyclades, is taking steps to abolish the use of plastic straws on the island.

The initiative is part of a new ecological program titled Sea Change and is being made possible with the assistance of the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation.

Together they will assist both businesses and locals to change their habits and eliminate the use of plastic straws, replacing them with reusable or biodegradable alternatives, which will be donated by the foundation.

Launched on Sunday to coincide with European Maritime Day, Sikinos mayor Vasilis Marakis welcomed the program with open arms.

“Adding to our ongoing efforts to reduce the use of plastic on Sikinos and the strengthening of our residents’ environmental consciousness, following the replacement of our plastic bag campaign this year, we are now focusing on other single use plastics, such as the plastic straw, and to change our everyday habits. We are very grateful to the AKA Laskaridis Foundation,” he said.

To help further educate people about the program and its intentions, an event open to the public is taking place on Saturday at Sikinos School. Attendees will also be shown a screening of relevant documentaries, EGEO – H θάλασσα για μένα and STRAWS in collaboration with Plastic Free Greece.

While Sikinos is leading the way, the Sea Change program will soon be introduced to additional islands in the vicinity.

In addition to banning straws, the program will also see the organisation of cleaning-up events with locals on beaches, along with educational programs introduced into schools to raise awareness about protecting the environment.