Susty Stories

Refugee Crisis Creates Ghostly Ocean Debris


By Jennifer A. Wagner-Lawlor for Plastic Pollution Coalition

They came from Pakistan and Syria, the four refugees I met in Mytilene, a small city on the east coast of Greece, on the island of Lesbos. The conference I was attending in May was hosted by the International Small Islands Association and focused, a bit ironically, on the topic of islands and utopia. For many, the “Greek Islands” conjures an image of Utopia — and I can tell you that for visitors like myself, they are.

A slightly closer look, however, revealed something less than utopic: plastic pollution. It is found on every Greek island, Lesbos included. Indeed, especially Lesbos, which is a primary landing point for climate and war refugees from Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and other African nations. While I was there, Mytilene refugee camp coordinators were hearing rumors of two boats full of people who risked everything to escape the dire circumstances which make up their lives.

Tomiwa Isiaka
Tomiwa Isiaka is in her head a lot, so she writes, because that's what you do when you're in your head a lot.. She likes the sun, and that's what all this is about, environmental sustainability to keep the sun alive