Lefteris Arapakis (Greece) founded the start-up Enaleia, through which the team trains, empowers and incentivises the local fishing community to collect plastic from the sea, allowing both fish stocks and the ecosystem to recover. Enaleia is also prototyping recycling the plastic into fashion merchandise like socks and swimsuits.
“Discarded single-use plastics are notoriously ubiquitous and have adverse and far-reaching environmental and socio-economic impacts, including on human health,” said Gaetano Leone, an expert in plastic pollution with the UNEP. “The inspiring work that Lefteris Arapakis is doing with Enaleia demonstrates that individual and local initiatives driven by passion and shared priorities are crucial in complementing action taken at the regional level.”
The Young Champions of the Earth prize is the United Nations Environment Programme’s leading initiative to engage youth in tackling the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Seven winners were announced in December 2020. The winners are given funding and mentorship to support their environmental initiative. Since its inception in 2017, 28 environmental trailblazers have been recognised from every corner of the globe.
Together, they Act #FORNATURE.
For more information: https://www.unenvironment.org/youngchampions/