Meet Greece's Marine Trash Collectors Diving To Keep Their Sea Beautiful

Ocean litter is a global problem. These Greeks are acting locally to clean up the Aegean.
Aegean Rebreath founder George Sarelakos (center) hands a netted bag of marine litter to volunteers on the main pier of the Greek island of Poros. Source: Joanna Kakissis for NPR

George Sarelakos emerges from the sea lugging a giant tire. Another two divers surface — with a shopping cart and a netted bag bulging with a cassette player, cans and lots of plastic.

It takes six more people to heave this all onto the main pier of the Greek island of Poros.

"People throw everything down there that they throw away at home," says Sarelakos, a 39-year-old management consultant. In early 2017, he founded the volunteer diving team Aegean Rebreath, which removes trash from Greek seas. "And because it's under the sea, it's invisible to them."

Marine litter

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