Every Can Counts Greece (Kathe Kouti Metrai), in collaboration with the Municipality of Antiparos, has initiated a pilot campaign aimed at evaluating citizen engagement and return rates within the framework of a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS). The project commenced in October with the installation of two Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs) and is scheduled to operate fully throughout the summer season of 2024.
Antiparos, the small island adored by movie stars from around the world, is now the first to embark on a pilot Can-Deposit campaign within the Cycladic islands. This initiative introduces a dedicated recycling point where both locals and tourists can exchange their empty drink cans for rewards, all while contributing to a charitable cause.
The project’s primary objectives are to make container return simple and rewarding for the local community through a circular recycling system adhering to DRS principles. Simultaneously, it serves as an educational platform, enlightening people about the separate collection and the endless possibilities of aluminium recycling. Two Pure Smart Crushers machines, designed by the Finnish company Pure Recycle, have been installed on the island as part of the project’s initial phase. The core concept behind this versatile recycling solution is to efficiently and effectively compress varying quantities of cans, resulting in cost savings and enhanced capacity across the entire reverse logistics chain. This innovation perfectly aligns with the needs of small communities like Antiparos.
Rewarding Recycling for a More Sustainable Future
Antiparos residents, spanning all age groups, gathered on October 14 to participate in the soft launch event. They not only learned about the initiative but also engaged with the newly installed recycling machines to exchange their drink cans for sustainable incentives. The event provided a platform for open discussions, with key participants including the Mayor of Antiparos, Anastasios Faroupos; Deputy Mayor for Administrative Affairs, Artemis Triantafyllos; Eirini Topouzidou, the Programme Manager of Every Can Counts for Greece, and Kari Almen, Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Pure Recycle Oy.
Artemis Triantafyllos, Deputy Mayor of Antiparos, stated, “Every Can Counts is a significant programme with a real communicative impact. This collaboration aims to establish a DRS trial for collecting and recycling aluminium cans. Our goal is to encourage the segregated collection of materials and give back to our community using recycling proceeds for public benefit.”
Eirini Topouzidou, Programme Manager of “Every Can Counts Greece,” added, “We are thrilled to see the initial steps taken toward realizing the dream of recycling every can on Antiparos. The local community has shown a strong commitment to environmental protection and appears enthusiastic about embracing a more sustainable lifestyle in line with the principles of the circular economy. With this trial, we aim to introduce the DRS concept to the people on the island and increase can recycling rates on Antiparos, bringing us closer to our vision of achieving 100% aluminium can recycling.”
Ensuring a closed-loop recycling process
With each can recycled, citizens will receive real-time updates on the total number of recycled cans on the island and the equivalent CO2 emissions saved. The system identifies the barcode, size, weight, and material to provide a comprehensive overview and detailed data on the quantities of recyclable materials collected. The aluminium cans collected through this project will be transported directly to ELVAL, the Hellenic aluminium industry, ensuring a closed-loop recycling process.