Tilos, a small Greek island located between Rhodes and Kos, has undergone a remarkable green revolution, achieving energy self-sufficiency and becoming the world‘s first zero-waste island. With just 745 residents, Tilos has set an inspiring example of sustainable living and environmental conservation.
Before the implementation of the Just Go Zero project, Tilos sent a staggering 87% of its waste to landfill sites. Thanks to the project‘s success, the island no longer has any rubbish bins, and the landfill site is permanently closed. In its place, the Centre for Creative Upcycling has emerged, where items are repaired, reused, or repurposed into raw art supplies or building materials.
Polygreen, a Greek company specializing in circular economy solutions, played a pivotal role in overseeing and financing the project. Education was a critical component of their approach. They established an information center in the port to educate residents on proper waste sorting. Each household was provided with zero-waste equipment, including bins for recyclable and non-recyclable waste, a bag for organic waste, and a container for cigarette butts. Door-to-door waste collections were introduced across the island, with a smartphone app monitoring real-time recycling data for Polygreen.
In summary, Tilos stands as a beacon of environmental success, demonstrating how sustainable practices can harmoniously balance development and nature. With its energy self-sufficiency and zero-waste status, it serves as a remarkable example of responsible living and conservation, inspiring both residents and visitors alike to embrace a brighter and more resilient future.