Plastic Free Beach in the Municipality of Ayios Tychonas

€11,470* awarded

Project duration: 09/2023 – 1/2024

Status: ON-GOING

 

The challenge

Plastics make up 95% of sea and beach waste across the Mediterranean1. In Cyprus, around 80% of rubbish collected on beaches comprise of plastics. The UN Environment places ocean plastics among the 6 most serious environmental emergencies causing multiple problems to wildlife and humans through ingestion and leaching of chemicals from plastic products 2. Local authorities have a lot of work to implement in the waste management as the per capita generation of municipal solid waste in 2020 reached 609 kg in Cyprus3, one of the highest in the EU. Additionally, during the summer period the waste increases by 40% due to tourists4. It is a fact that the top waste items that are collected from beaches are plastics and more specifically, single use plastic items5. Overcapacity, ignorance of the beach users and laws not being enforced are the main causes of these issues. The need to reduce plastic waste is ever more needed with beach visitors – locals and tourists, in need to become part of the solution.

 

Sources:

1 UNEP (2022), Pollution in the Mediterranean, Available at: https://www.unep.org/unepmap/resources/factsheets/pollution

2 Thompson et al. (2009), Plastics, the environment and human health: current consensus and future trends.

3 Eurostat (2022), Municipal waste statistics. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statisticsexplained/index.php?title=Municipal_waste_statistics

4 WWF (2018), Out of the plastic trap

5 Anna Maria Addamo, Perrine Laroche, Georg Hanke, Top Marine Beach Litter Items in Europe, EUR 29249 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2017, ISBN 978-92-79-87711-7, doi:10.2760/496717, JRC108181

 

The solution

This project looks to engage with the public in the reduction of plastic waste on Cyprus’ beaches through the “Plastic Free Beach” concept. Through this project a “Plastic Free Beach” will be created in the municipality of Ayios Tychonas to encourage and facilitate its visitors to avoid the use of single-use plastic during their stay at the beach. The aim is to sensitize the beach visitors to reduce the use of single-use plastic by being a part of the solution and not the problem. To encourage the reduction of single-use plastic bottles the project will install a water filter/cooler on the beach. To also reduce one of the greatest plastic polluters for our coasts and marine life, cigarette butts, a designated smoking station will be created on the beach. Part of the project is to also install an artwork created by a local school using upcycled plastic waste collected during beach clean ups. This artwork aims to raise awareness to the beach visitor of the urgency to reduce plastic waste and the urgency to protect our beaches in Cyprus. To assure the project’s success, an important part of the project is to engage with stakeholders from the area. The local municipality and the owners of nearby restaurants, cafés, hotels etc. will be involved in the implementation and they will be given the appropriate training and guidance to help reduce the use of single-use plastic on the beach.

 

The “Plastic Free Beach” project is an initiative of the “Keep our Sand and Sea Plastic Free” Project, part of TUI Care Foundation’s Destination Zero Waste Programme. The project seeks new ways to reduce and reuse waste which create jobs and promote a circular economy in Cyprus.

 

Project’s deliverables

  • Installation of 1 water station at the beach. The installed water station will provide access for the public to free, cold and filtered water and will have a water meter to measure the water used to estimate how many plastic bottles are saved by the station.
  • Installation of an upcycled artwork created by local community students made out of plastic. The artwork will take the role to sensitise the visitors of the beach about the burning issue of plastic pollution. The used plastic will be collected from clean-up campaigns organised by the Project. The artwork will be created by students of the Petrou and Pavlou Lyceum.
  • Placement of two informative signs and one Aris Mascot at the beach providing the visitors with information on how they can be a part of the solution and not the problem as well as bring awareness of the concept of the “Plastic Free Beach” project.
  • Installation of a smoking area in the effort to cut down on the amount of cigarette butts found on the beach and in the sand. The smoking area consists of an upcycled bench created from 34 Kgs of used plastic with space for planting local plants suitable for the beach, 2 ashtrays made of used plastic, an umbrella for shade, and a sign to indicate that it is a smoking area.
  • An awareness campaign to sensitise the public about the burning issue of plastic pollution. During this campaign, we will organise a beach clean-up, following the European protocol for beach clean-ups measuring the collected waste.
  • Training for the nearby businesses to ensure they understand the environmental, economic and social consequences of the uncontrolled use of plastic. As a result of this training, each business will have an action plan with the steps to follow to actively reduce plastic used in their business.

 

Project Updates

  • Launch event/ Award Ceremony Invitations.

 

 

 

A bit about the organization

Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative (CSTI) aims to contribute to sustainable tourism development in Cyprus that conserves the environment, supports the local economy & promotes local culture. CSTI has developed several projects to demonstrate the benefits of sustainable tourism to the environment, the society & the economy, to promote local culture & to develop close links between local suppliers & hoteliers/operators, & also to educate & inform the public regarding sustainability issues. CSTI has gained tremendous experience through its projects in tourism. It has introduced sustainable practices, provided training & support to hotels, local enterprises & producers and developing an extensive network with all the stakeholders in the tourism industry. Through its projects, CSTI has developed manuals & training sessions addressed to the stakeholders of the tourism industry. All the manuals were supported by workshops & in-house presentations for the HORECA professionals to gain a better understanding on sustainability matters in their business. CSTI has organized Awareness Campaigns related to waste reduction, saving water & energy, recycling & reduction of single use plastics. CSTI co-organized an International Conference “Waste Management in the Hotel Industry” with great success. CSTI has the expertise to carry out the proposed project related to Sustainable Waste Management.

 

*This project is funded by the Andrey and Julia Dashin Foundation