Keep Himara Clean.*

Like much of Albania, Himara suffers from a plague of trash. A combination of abysmal infrastructure and cultural attitudes have left a colorful and year-round array embellishing the landscape. After all, a few hundred years for a plastic bag to decompose in a setting with several thousand years of history really is not so long?

 

To help raise awareness of this problem and hopefully stymie it some, 555 rucksacks with a message not to litter and to love the community were made. Inside each rucksack a brochure was placed highlighting the importance and should-be concern of keeping the environment clean and explaining the environmental degradation caused by plastic bags breaking down.

 

The rucksacks were distributed to the students throughout the Municipality of Himara (this includes the villages of Dhërmi and Qeparo) with presentations about the aforementioned concerns. The intention is that these bags will serve as convenient beach bags for the students  in the summer, saving the use of the standard polyethylene bags, meanwhile carrying a message to the beaches about keeping them clean.

 

About Polyethylene

Side A

While "Love, Himara" is rather obvious for Anglo-phones, below it and less obvious is the chimera, a mythological creature associated with the community; this unique creature is a lion, with the head of a goat and a snake for a tail.

Side B

Below the person throwing away trash is written "PO PO PO!" or "YES YES, YES!", adjacent, the donkey standing amongst trash on the ground is written, "O-BO-BO!" or "OH MY GOD!" which is a common expression used in Albania, which might be better likened to, "OH MY GOODNESS!". The text below translates as, "Don't be a donkey that leaves trash on the beach!", donkey, being just what it is colloquially in the West.

Brochure

Below is the duplexed brochure that was inserted into the bags upon distribution. On the left side with the magnifying glass is a picture of a remote beach in the community with trash, below it is written about the importance of keeping the environment clean, see (*) above. Opposite, the back of the brochure elaborates on how plastic bags take a long time to decay, and even then they really do not—rather break down into smaller pieces.