Journal of Marine Science and Engineering : 8 (DocId: 8)
Plastic waste pollution in marine environments is considered a major environmental problem in coastal areas. Relative environmental problems are also recorded in protected wetlands. The National Park of Amvrakikos Wetlands, one of the largest wetlands of Greece, is studied in order to evaluate the influence of plastic waste in the protected area and its surroundings, according to the stakeholders’ views. The survey applied using the method of census addressing the key stakeholders in the area of interest and the use of a questionnaire; the data analyzed with the Statistical Package SSPS. The main findings reveal that waste management is not considered satisfactory in the broader area. Marine litter, pollution, overfishing, ecosystem degradation, agriculture and livestock activities, as well as the insufficiency of the municipal solid waste management and recycling system are listed as the most important environmental problems of the coastal area. The stakeholders’ participation is regarded as crucial for effective decision making. Therefore, special strategies should be designed involving Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to widely address the local communities and increase their awareness on the problem in order to reduce plastic waste pollution. It should be noted that environmental conditions are closely affiliated with the citizens’ quality of life.