Project duration: 07/2022 – 02/2023
Plastics make up 95% of sea and beach waste across the Mediterranean, and the Mediterranean Sea has one of the highest levels of plastic pollution in the world, exacerbated by water circulation patterns trapping floating plastic in the Med1. Around 80% of rubbish collected on Cyprus beaches comprise plastics. The UN Environment places ocean plastics among the 6 most serious environmental emergencies. Also, plastic waste in nature causes multiple problems to wildlife, primarily as a result of ingestion or entanglement, and secondly by the leaching of chemicals from plastic products with the potential of them being transferred to wildlife and humans2. Also, the most important overriding concern is that our current productions and usage of plastic is not sustainable. Around 4% of the world oil production is used as a feedstock to produce plastics and a significant amount of energy is used during the process3.
- UNEP (2022), Pollution in the Mediterranean, Available at: https://www.unep.org/unepmap/resources/factsheets/pollution https://www.unep.org/unepmap/resources/factsheets/pollution
- Thompson et al. (2009), Plastics, the environment and human health: current consensus and future trends.
- British Plastics Federation (2021), Sustainability in the plastics supply chain
The “Plastic Free Beach” Project aims to create a Cypriot Brand that outlines the implementation of the ‘Plastic Free Beach’ a concept first created through the ‘Keep Our Sand and Sea Plastic Free Project’ and to provide a clear set of criteria that must be met in order for the beach to be labelled under the specific brand. The “Plastic Free Beach” label encourages and facilitates its visitor to avoid the use of single use plastic and supports the communities in implementing activities on the beach following specific guidelines creating a positive impact to the environment, the local communities and economy.
- A Manual as a tool for creating a “Plastic Free Beach”: The manual will provide solutions and a list of guides that can potentially be applied in other types of locations reducing the environmental impacts of single use plastic.
- A branding package (logo etc) as a tool that creates awareness about the existence of the “Plastic Free Beach” and the environmental reasons behind the need for this type of beach.
- 4 workshops for the introduction of the “Plastic Free Beach” concept to interested parties in Famagusta, Larnaca, Limassol and Pafos districts.
- Meetings with the Deputy Ministry of Tourism and officials from other departments to create a culture for the necessity and positive implications of the creation of a ‘Destination Label’ titled “Plastic Free Beach”.
- A communication package on the created label with the aim to create awareness about plastic pollution, and also encourage best practices about the use of single use plastic in daily life, including beach going.
Project additional resources
- Euronews article on the creation of the first plastic free beach in Cyprus – 06/06/2022
- Euronews videos on the creation of the first plastic free beach in Cyprus: Greek, English – 06/06/2022
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 and Biodiversity Conservation.