How to become a Clean Blue Business on Paros.

Over 100 businesses on Paros are already working to reduce their plastic waste. Will you be the next to join us? Here's how...

Clean Blue Businesses are critical to helping Paros become the first island in the Mediterranean to break free from single-use plastic waste.

As you might expect, hospitality businesses – like bars, cafes, restaurants and hotels – create a lot of single-use plastic waste. That’s because traditionally, many of the products they sell come in plastic packaging, like cups, bags and takeaway containers. In fact, our research shows that around a quarter of plastic waste found on Paros beaches is made up of these items!

But the good news is, when these businesses decide to reduce their plastic use, it can make a really big difference.

In fact, because nearly every resident and visitor will visit a café, bar or restaurant while they’re on Paros, it’s the perfect opportunity for our Clean Blue Businesses to normalise plastic reduction, plastic alternatives and the shift towards circular economy solutions.

What’s more, it’s a big win for businesses – not only do they get to be part of a world-leading crew of plastic waste-free pioneers, they also get a head start on incoming legislation from the EU. In July 2021, the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive came into force, regulating items such as plastic straws, cutlery, bags, take away food and beverage containers.

Being a Clean Blue Business also unlocks member discounts for businesses to access alternative products that make it easier for them to reduce their plastic use. Other perks include new business opportunities selling reusables and access to ongoing expert support on plastic reductions.

What does it take to become a Clean Blue Business?

Clean Blue Paros is already two years old and we’re learning all the time. This year, we’ve updated the process and commitments to become a Clean Blue Business. They now better reflect the Common Seas methodology and align more closely with the new legislation around single-use plastics.

We are 100% transparent about what it means to be a Clean Blue Business. That way, business owners know what they’re committing to, and customers know what they’re buying into. So, without further ado, here’s what it takes to become a Clean Blue Business:

1. The Clean Blue Paros team meets with businesses one-to-one to calculate their plastic footprint. This allows business owners to visualise their annual plastic waste production, understand where they are starting from, and feel inspired to make changes. We also provide supporting materials – such as our single-use plastic bans & alternative solutions infographic, our COVID-19 & Reusables Guide and our research into the safety of Paros Tap Water. Business-owners can use these to make more informed decisions about their plastics use.

2. We then recommend tailor-made solutions to help the business reduce its plastic footprint. These solutions are also designed to help the business access the sustainable tourism market while fulfilling plastics regulations.

A Clean Blue Business must commit to reduce its plastic footprint by:

  • Not using plastic and biodegradable straws
  • Not using plastic and biodegradable takeaway bags
  • Offering tap water, and informing customers it’s safe to drink
  • Reducing use of water bottles by at least 10%
  • Reducing use of plastic cups by at least 5%
  • Reducing use of takeaway containers by at least 5%

3. These are the minimum requirements for businesses, but many have taken it much further by eliminating certain single-use plastic like straws and bottles altogether! Every business has its own starting point, but we are all working towards a common goal of a healthy, clean blue island.

4. Each business receives a bespoke plastic footprinting report, which documents their progress and reductions, year after year. This report demonstrates the impact of each business’s participation in Clean Blue Paros and motivates them to keep improving. Additionally, each business is given a certificate of participation and printed materials so they can let their customers know what they’re doing to reduce single-use plastic waste.

5. We celebrate every one of our Clean Blue Businesses on our social media platforms and through our local, national, and international communications channels. We want to show the world how much a small Greek island can achieve when we work collectively.

If you’d like to find out more about becoming a Clean Blue business, contact [email protected].

Clean Blue Paros Team

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