“Single-use plastics – Not in my Sea” is an awareness campaign launched by the Ministry of Environmental Protection in cooperation with the EcoOcean non-profit organization to raise awareness about keeping beaches and seas clean. The awareness campaign is part of the “Clean Coast Program” initiative of the Ministry of Environmental Protection.
Single-use plastics – Not in my Sea!
The objective of the campaign is to raise awareness for cleaner beaches in Israel and calls on beachgoers not to bring single-use plastics to the beach, as they tend to end up in the water or on the beach, harming sea life and the environment.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND LOCATION
General information on waste management:
• Main waste fraction: bottles, disposable utensils, straws, plastic bags
General information on the territory:
• Location: Coastal areas of Israel;
• Country: Israel
General information on the awareness campaign:
• The campaign is part of the Clean Coast Program, a national initiative of the Ministry of Environmental Protection. The program aims to minimize and mitigate the impacts of marine litter in Israel, by improving knowledge on prevention and actions to be taken, for the benefit of the environment and the public in Israel.
• The campaign includes the production of videos, tv and digital ads. The digital joint media campaigns of EcoOcean with the MoEP have reached over 2,000,000 views every year.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP), the Government Advertising Agency and EcoOcean non-profit organisation.
KEY STAKEHOLDERS INVOLVED
The Ministry of Environmental Protection, EcoOcean, Local authorities and the local community.
In Israel, 90% of marine litter is non-biodegradable plastic, while at least 60% of the waste on Israel’s beaches are from land sources: an irresponsible public that leaves behind its garbage, including bottles, disposable utensils, straws, plastic bags, cigarette butts, food scraps. Additional debris accumulates in coastal waters from river cisterns or sea retreats, which in many cases include wastes that have been washed away from other beaches and swept into sea currents, sometimes over long distances. It should be noted that the percentage of plastic in marine litter along Israel’s coast is higher than elsewhere in the Mediterranean, and higher than the global average.
The Clean Coast Program operates on six main, intertwined axes, with the guiding principles being a change in public awareness about the importance of the sea and beaches, and prompting coastal authorities to take responsibility for the cleanliness of all beaches in their areas. These can be accomplished via: advertising, publicity and public relations, enforcement, education, cleanliness, monitoring, and reduction at-source of beach litter.
In terms of the awareness component, EcoOcean and the Ministry of Protection of the Environment, under the Ministry’s initiative “Clean Coast Program”, cooperated in creating a public information campaign that calls on beachgoers not to bring plastic disposable dishes to the beach, as they tend to end up in the water or on the beach, harming sea life and the environment. EcoOcean also carries out awareness raising activities in the beaches as part of the campaign.
DESCRIPTION OF THE ACTIVITIES
The Ministry of Environmental Protection and EcoOcean launch an annual Clean Seas campaign, in order to prompt Israelis to take personal responsibility for the cleanliness of beaches. The Campaign includes the production of videos and digital advertisements. More specifically, the campaign features a video (in Hebrew and Arabic) that sheds light on the state of our beaches and reminds us to take whatever we brought to the beach back home with us and not to leave our garbage behind. The video shows a little boy building a sand castle using material he found on the beach: cigarette butts, disposable cutlery, bottles, plastic bags, and other garbage.
The awareness campaign is complemented by an education programme. The Ministry of Environmental Protection has joined forces with the country’s education system, in an effort to instil the values of preserving the good status of beaches. It targets both teachers and students.
FINANCING AND COST RECOVERY CONTEXT
The cost of the awareness campaign was at 700,000 NIS (per year) back in 2017 and has reached a cost of 1 million NIS per year since 2019. Its funding is already secured until 2023. The MoEP’s overall Clean Coast Program comes from the country’s plastic bag levy budget.
MAIN ACHIEVEMENTS AND RESULTS
Compared to the norms that characterize similar campaigns, this campaign, despite the modest budget, performs well in both the coverage indices and the response indices. Israeli beaches received the highest cleanliness score since the Clean Coast Program and Index were launched (2005) in the year 2020. 68% of beaches were rated “clean” or “very clean” at least 70% of that year. In 2005, only 20% of beaches received those ratings. The campaign continues to be received with great sympathy and remains of high importance in public perception.
KEY FACTORS OF SUCCESS
The campaign’s success is based on the attractiveness and frequent exposure to the videos and digital advertisements, which promote clear and understandable messages to the Israeli community. The fact that the campaign is on-going for several years is also an important success factor.
BOTTLENECKS, LIMITATIONS AND CHALLENGES
In fact, the success factors are the challenges at the same time. Developing an impactful and successful message was not an easy feat, and neither was its very wide dissemination through all media.
LESSONS LEARNED AND REPLICABILITY
The awareness campaign (and even the Clean Coasts Program as a whole) can be applied to many Mediterranean countries as the tools used are easily accessed and could be adapted to varying scales and budgets, based on each coastal country’s economic and environmental situation.
REFERENCES, LINKS TO FURTHER INFORMATION
Topic: prevention, clean-up
Waste fraction: plastic waste
Target group: households
Instruments: awareness campaign (tv, advertising ads, videos)
Date of the implementation
“Clean Coast Program” initiative of the Ministry of Environmental Protection since 2005; campaign “Single-use plastics – Not in my Sea” since 2017 with EcoOcean.