During its almost two-year lifetime, LIFE AMMOS Project developed a series of innovative tools, which contributed to the implementation of an integrated information campaign at the national and local levels and made possible the systematic recording and monitoring of smoking-related litter in the participating beaches, which was of major importance for the evaluation of the project impact on the environmental problem targeted.
More specifically, the multilevel information/ sensitisation/ educational and dissemination activities carried out during the Project’s implementation included, while not limited to, the following:
- Intensive use of Internet and social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+).
- Dissemination to local and national media through Press Releases, articles in printed and electronic media, as well as through TV and radio interviews.
- Development of an integrated cigarette butt monitoring system in the beaches, consisting of the Protocol for cigarette butts measurement on beaches, the Form for cigarette butts measurements at the beach and the Record file of cigarette butts on beaches.
- Operation of info-kiosks in all of the 15 selected beaches, with specially trained staff during the summer period May-September 2014. The Beach Supervisors were in charge of informing tourists and distributing disposable ashtrays and informative material.
- Development of partnerships with 155 local stakeholders through the creation of Regional Advisory Committees, including representatives of the local government, coastal SMEs, the educational community, environmental and cultural organizations, etc.
- Implementation of a qualitative survey based on the focus group method and of a quantitative survey based on the use of a structured questionnaire. The surveys aimed at the recording of the smokers’ behaviour towards littering.
- Systematic measurement of cigarette butts’ levels in the pilot areas during 5 sampling periods and based on a specific recording methodology.
- Design and use of the “Ammos” mobile application for smartphones, which is available for download in the electronic stores App Store and Google Play.
- Promotion of parallel voluntary actions via the Do It Yourself platform, which hosts all tools and instruments developed during the implementation of the LIFE AMMOS Project.
- Development of an Integrated Environmental Education Package entitled “Marine litter – The human footprint on coasts and seas“.
- Delivery of educational presentations to more than 5.000 students in Attiki, Thessaloniki and Patras.
- Participation in 8 training seminars for teachers and implementation of 5 workshops, in collaboration with the School Activities Managers and the Heads of Environmental Education at the Directorates of Primary and Secondary Education.
The aforementioned coordinated actions, which were implemented during the 2014 summer period, as well as the preparatory actions, seem to have contributed to a significant and measurable reduction of smoking-related litter in the Project’s study areas/ beaches. According to the results for 13 out of the 15 beaches, over a 1-year period (September/ October 2013 – September/ October 2014), the litter load has been reduced by 66.9%, while the reduction rate/ beach is between 18.5% and 90.1%.