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"Keep Our Sand and Sea Plastic-free" initiative in Cyprus

  • Published on February 3, 2020
This new initiative between the Travel Foundation and TUI Care Foundation will bring together tourists, tourism businesses and residents across Ayia Napa, Protaras and the wider Famagusta region of Cyprus to cut consumption of single-use plastic so that less enters the waste stream.
Why? The tourism industry is engaging with the issue of plastic pollution, which is a particular threat to ocean flora and fauna. 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. This area of Cyprus is well-known for its beautiful beaches, an important resource for both tourism and local wildlife. However 80% of rubbish collected on Cyprus beaches is plastic waste. Our approach. We will work with the tourism sector to reduce demand and consumption of single-use plastics – such as plastic straws, cups, cutlery and hotel toiletries. The project will raise awareness of the issue with residents, school children and tourists in order to reduce demand, and work with tourism businesses to change procurement practices. We will also collaborate with regional authorities to embed longer-lasting change. The project will initially be delivered in the popular neighbouring resorts of Ayia Napa and Protaras. It will focus on reducing the amount of single-use plastics waste generated and discarded in resort, as well as promoting recycling. Latest Activities: Creating a ‘working group’ in-destination, involving representatives from public and private sector organisations and the tourism industry. Training and support for hotels and other businesses to change procurement practices. Providing communications materials to help encourage tourists and residents to back the initiative. Creating a campaign brand and website to help us work towards a ‘sun, sea and plastic-free’ coastline. An in-destination PR and media campaign to raise awareness of the issue and encourage behaviour change. Disseminating educational materials to young people in Ayia Napa, Protaras and the wider Famagusta region. Beach cleans with support from residents and local businesses. Expected Outcomes: - Increased awareness of the problem of single-use plastic. Among 80% of residents and tourists. - Resorts well on their way to becoming plastic-free 70% reduction in consumption of targeted single-use plastic by tourism businesses. - Key stakeholders commit to ongoing communications. Results are also showcased.

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