A Greek Island, Astypalaia, Is To Become The First Smoke-Free Island In The World

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Over 60 million cigarettes butts have been collected from the sea in the last decade.

A Greek Island, Astypalaia, Is To Become The First Smoke-Free Island In The World

Over 60 million cigarettes butts have been collected from the sea in the last decade. As the Ocean Conservancy reports, cigarettes are the number one source of ocean waste. The Greek island of Astypalea, whose nickname is “the butterfly of the South Aegean,” has set a goal to become the first island to ban smoking.


Lots of Greek beaches are filled with trash, including cigarette litter. Each year a team of volunteers from a non-profit organization clean up the beaches around Greece.


A Greek Island, Astypalaia, Is To Become The First Smoke-Free Island In The World

© depositphotos.com


The island's mayor spoke about the “Astypalea without Cigarettes” vision, saying that “it is a conscious choice by residents and visitors, not the result of policy measures.” They have even created a hashtag to promote the vision #ASTYPALEASMOKEFREE.



Islanders and local authorities both encourage visitors to quit smoking, engage in healthier habits such as cycling and become part of the smoke-free culture. A weird, yet exciting, fact about this project is that this island’s campaign is sponsored by Greece's biggest tobacco company called Papastratos.


Χαρης (@charis_p.l) on


Aiming for a smoke-free future, the island focuses on promoting well-being and a healthy quality life for its people and tourists that visit the beautiful island and raising awareness about the pollution of the beaches caused by cigarette butts.


A Greek Island, Astypalaia, Is To Become The First Smoke-Free Island In The World

© depositphotos.com


It's true though that they have set the bar very high since Greece is ranked among Europe's top countries with the highest rate of tobacco consumption. It's also considered the black sheep in Europe for not following restrictive laws when it comes to smoking in public and private spaces.



During an interview, the mayor of Astypalaia was asked whether smokers are now unwelcome in the country. His reply: “No, of course not! Quite the contrary. We welcome smokers, and we hope that if they stay, at least for a little while, on a smoke-free island, maybe they’ll decide to quit smoking and join a healthier way of living.”


A Greek Island, Astypalaia, Is To Become The First Smoke-Free Island In The World

© depositphotos.com


These are two 1.5-liter bottles stuffed to the top with cigarettes collected at the beach in only 2 hours.


clara 🌻✨ (@claraveganna) on


Preview photo: claraveganna / Instagram, Tasos Makris / Facebook

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Thinking Humanity: A Greek Island, Astypalaia, Is To Become The First Smoke-Free Island In The World
A Greek Island, Astypalaia, Is To Become The First Smoke-Free Island In The World
Over 60 million cigarettes butts have been collected from the sea in the last decade.
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