Environment, Communities, Recycling, circular economy, training, awareness

Establishment of marine litter recycling stations community award


Who is behind this?

George Sarelakos

Aegean Rebreath



Who is joining forces?

"Captain Vassilis and Carmen Constantakopoulos" Foundation



Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association-HELMEPA



Additionally, we have developed partnerships with a number of local municipalities.

Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

The program will focus on mapping, lifting up, collecting, recycling and reusing of the collected marine litter. Below are the two main components of the project:
a) the establishment of marine litter and fishing net collection points in fishing communities around Greece and;
b) the implementation of diving and coastal clean-up missions around Greece.
In this context,our team cooperates with local fishing communities and municipal authorities in order to develop awareness events.

Where will your idea take place?


Why does Europe need your idea?

Environmental democracy is rooted in the idea that meaningful participation by the public is critical to ensuring that natural resource decisions adequately and equitably address citizens’ interests. In order to strengthen democracy in Europe, our idea aims at offering to local communities a first hand experience with marine litter and wasted material. By building awareness, people get to freely access information on environmental quality and problems, to participate meaningfully in decision-making, and to seek enforcement of European environmental laws or compensation for damages. Sustainable development and circular economy is the only way forward, both can only be achieved if local communities and the European public are involved in shaping a participatory and democratic future.

What is your impact?

Since the project focus on the establishment of marine litter collection stations in Greece, we expect full engagement of local communities and authorities, their active participation in actions, training events and workshops, organized by our team, as well as their practical commitment for taking over activities. The establishment and the sustainability of synergies, among local municipalities and recycling/upcycling companies and start-ups, for further exploiting the full potential of marine litter collected, also, remains a key objective. In this context, we aim at delivering “Active DemocraSea”project as a best practice which could drive similar initiatives at European level by inspiring local communities to move marine environment sustainability higher up on local authorities’ agenda

How do you get there?

Our approach lies in exploring the interest of local communities for building partnerships while assessing the size of marine litter problem at local level. Upon the establishment of partnerships, we will work for identifying & training focal persons than can support the implementation and the monitoring of our project at local level. Such activities include awareness visits to student & fishermen communities, training of municipal personnel. In this context, introductory dive & coastal initiatives are organized with the aim of raising awareness, recovering waste, sorting recyclable & non‐recyclable materials, transfer of waste through municipality services for recycling/upcycling/safe disposal. Finally, marine litter collection stations are established & managed by local authorities.

What is your story?

We are a team of very active individuals, coming from different backgrounds of civic engagement, sharing a common passion for nature conservation and democratic values. We are inspired by the complexity of the issue of marine litter and its implications in so many different areas, sectors and human activities. We strongly believe that common challenges unite humanity towards common solutions, shaping common visions and identities. Our mission is to successfully address the issue by developing best practices that will be replicated to other areas of Europe. We are doing this for the natural ecosystems, the local communities, the Mediterranean sea as a major European natural resource and the development of European identity on the basis of democracy, participation and sustainable vision.

Who are you doing it for?

Marine pollution is a global threat and requires a global response. Marine life is threatened by many factors, including climate change, overfishing, aquaculture, tourism, extractives and land-based pollution. Therefore, engagement of all actors at all levels and all fields is necessary in order to efficiently face such complex and multidimensional challenges. Aegean Rebreath aims at involving all citizens and entities at local level in order to build a global culture and practice. In this context, our project activities actively involve individuals, student community, divers, fishermen associations, civil society, local authorities, foundations and organizations as well as private entities.

What makes your idea stand apart?

Although, we are absolutely confident that the composition of our consortium forms the right combination of players in order to achieve our results, it is really unconventional and rather surprising that for the first time, local authorities, diving centers, civil society, start-ups and active citizens are joining forces. Unconventional is also the fact that, although, we are dealing with an environmental issue, we touch upon democratic principles and values in order to mobilise and educate people, not with a negative attitude of “naming and blaming” but with a positive spirit of collaboration to address a “glocal” issue with participatory methods, in the principles of circular economy. Innovation and especially social innovation is in the core of our project.

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Advocate Europe

€ 50000,-

Total budget

€ 1000,-

Funding granted from Advocate Europe

Major expenses

Office expenses 3.000 euros Travel costs 1.450 euros Event costs 14.000 euros Public relations 1.250 euros Other costs (equipment) 6.336 euros Personnel costs 23.964 euros

What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

The platform is founded on the exchange of ideas and practices about strengthening democracy and community engagement. In this context, we will be happy to explore the possibilities for building synergies with other initiatives and receive recommendations that could help us improve our work.




Idea created on Jan. 17, 2018
Last edit on Sept. 3, 2018

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