After nearly a year of operation, the Just Go Zero Tilos program by Polygreen company, in collaboration with the Tilos Municipality and with the support of the South Aegean Region has successfully transformed Tilos into Greece's first zero-waste-certified municipality and the world's first zero-waste certified island.
Tilos island has attained a remarkable rating of 4 out of 5 stars according to the rigorous assessment of Zero Waste Cities, the prominent European accreditation standard created by Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) and Mission Zero Academy (MiZA), that promotes the adoption of zero waste principles and the integration of circular economy practices within European cities and local communities.
Just two years ago, approximately 87% of the island's waste was being sent to landfill. However, through the successful implementation of the innovative door-to-door collection method and the introduction of sorting practices for bio-waste, recyclable materials, and residual waste, Tilos island has achieved a remarkable milestone. It successfully diverted 100% of its municipal solid waste from landfill from landfill, leading to the closure of the landfill facility. Presently, the island boasts an impressive recycling rate nearing 90%.
“We are so delighted and honored to see Tilos island recognized and awarded as a “Zero Waste City” through Just Go Zero project. This approach of public-private collaboration is beneficial to the environment, but it is also an investment that is reshaping the local waste management infrastructure and increasing the ability of the local community to make the transition to a more sustainable economy. We are dedicated to preserving and improving our high standard, with the end goal of serving as a model for other communities and expanding the reach of the Just Go Zero initiative”. stated Mr Athanasios Polychronopoulos, President & CEO of Polygreen.
Maria Kamma, Mayor of Tilos, stated that through dedicated efforts, Tilos has achieved one of the highest recycling and composting rates worldwide, reaching almost 90%. By eliminating trash cans, eradicating the landfill, and embracing a Zero Waste approach, the island has become a shining example of sustainable tourism and development in the Aegean region. The Regional Governor, Mr George Chatzimarkos, aptly emphasizes this proactive approach, stating, "As a municipal authority, our new objective is to obtain the coveted 5th star certification within the year, aiming to become the first municipality worldwide to attain this prestigious recognition.”