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Tackling Single-Use-Plastic in small touristic islands to reduce marine litter: co-identifying the best mix of policies

Alice Guittard, Ebun Akinsete, Elias Demian, Phoebe Koundouri, Lydia Papadaki () and Xenia Tombrou
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Alice Guittard: ICRE8
Ebun Akinsete: ICRE8

No 2236, DEOS Working Papers from Athens University of Economics and Business

Abstract: Marine litter is a worldwide issue affecting local communities with increasing environmental and economic impacts. Here we propose the use of a participative system-based approach to co-design with local stakeholders a roadmap tackling Single-Use-Plastic in the hospitality industry of small touristic islands. By focusing on the whole social-ecological system, it allows a better understanding of the local context and interactions between the different components of the system highlighting key local challenges, barriers and enablers for transformative change while co-developing a tailor-made portfolio of innovations and policies to reach a free SUP island status by 2050. The methodology was applied in small Greek islands in the Mediterranean Sea. Policy, industry, civil society and academia were involved in a participative co-creation process to co-identify the best mix of policy instruments and innovation (social and technological) adapted to the local island context, able to foster behavioural change (from consumers and local businesses perspective), reducing plastic consumption and littering in the island. Lack of knowledge and awareness, limited financial resources and expertise, low efficiency of the waste management system are the main challenges. A mix of policy instruments specifically targeting consumers (island inhabitants and tourists), local hospitality business owners and the municipality was identified. A combination of actions based on the Circular Economy reduce, reuse, recycle principles, including raising awareness actions (information and clean-up campaigns), economic incentives (deposit-refund schemes, pay-as-you-throw, reward as you reduce principles), capacity building (circular economy training for professionals, community events) and partnership within the quadruple helix was adopted to form the basis of the municipal island free SUP strategy.

Keywords: marine litter; participative approach; co-production; system thinking; single-useplastic; island (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022-12-20
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