The Project :“Keep our Sand and Sea Plastic Free”
An event to raise awareness of plastic pollution on our beaches
To coincide with Mediterranean Coast Day, the Project “Keep our Sand and Sea Plastic Free” in collaboration with the Municipality of Paralimni, organized an event for the unveiling of an information sign for tourists and locals in Protaras area, in front of Fig Tree Bay.
In parallel with the unveiling, students from the Gymnasio of Kokkinochorion Panou Ioannou and divers from Scuba Diving Support Center undertook a beach and sea clean-up, with the aim to send out their message of responsibility, that everyone has to keep our environment clean. The information sign was placed in Protaras, in front of the Fig Tree Bay and aims to raise awareness of the plastic pollution of our beaches and sea.
The event was addressed by the Mayor of Paralimni Theodoros Pyrillis and the event was attended by representatives of organized groups of the Famagusta area, related to tourism, as well as representatives of the local municipalities. Due to the current situation with the coronavirus, the organizers chose to invite a small number of people to attend the event and took all the necessary protective measures.
The Mediterranean Cοast Day is celebrated each year on 25 September with the aim of increasing environmental awareness among policy makers, academia, media, NGOs and local communities.
The campaign “Keep Our Sand and Sea Plastic Free,” is an initiative of TUI Care Foundation, in partnership with the Travel Foundation and the Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative (CSTI). It aims to eradicate single-use plastic from coastal areas – starting with the Ayia Napa, Protaras and the wider Famagusta region of Cyprus – with a particular focus on the tourist industry.
The project is even more crucial given the increasing numbers of plastic items appearing in marine ecosystems due to discarded PPE. Plastic litter does not biodegrade and so will remain in the environment for hundreds of years.
Mr. Philippos Drousiotis, President of the Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative said: “Plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental challenges of our days and tourism can play an important role in the solving of this problem. Through international efforts such as the campaign “Keep our Sand and Sea Plastic Free”, tourists companies and destinations are supported to eliminate, innovate, recycle and change the way they use the plastics to achieve a circular economy in the use of plastics and the reduction of plastic pollution globally”.
Mrs Panagiota Koutsofta, Project coordinator of “Keep our Sand and Sea Plastic Free” said: “Every minute 33.800 pieces of plastic waste end up in the Mediterranean and about 80% of the waste that is collected on Cypriot beaches is plastic. Also, as we already know there are terrible effects to our marine life. Also, the plastics affect ourselves, entering our diet through the food chain”.
About TUI Care Foundation
Building on the potential of tourism as a force for good, the TUI Care Foundation supports and initiates partnerships and projects, which create new opportunities for the young generation and contribute to thriving communities all over the world. Connecting holidaymakers to good causes, the TUI Care Foundation fosters education and training initiatives to open up new opportunities and perspectives for young people, the protection of the natural environment in holiday destinations and sustainable livelihoods in thriving destinations where local communities can benefit even more from tourism. TUI Care Foundation works global and acts local - it builds on strong partnerships with local and international organisations to create meaningful and long-lasting impact. The charitable foundation values transparency and the efficient use of funds. Therefore 100% of the donations go to destination programmes with all administration costs of the foundation covered by TUI. TUI Care Foundation was founded by TUI, the world’s leading tourism business, and is based in the Netherlands.
About the Travel Foundation and Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative
The Travel Foundation is a charity that works in partnership with leading tourism organizations to improve the impacts of tourism and shape a positive future for destinations. Since it was set up in 2003, it has worked in 26 popular holiday destinations around the world. Its head office is in the UK and it has a global network of project managers. The Travel Foundation has been working in Cyprus, in partnership with the Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative (CSTI), since 2006, on projects including Minimum Standards for Hotels, Cyprus Breakfast, and Plastic Reduction in the Hotel Industry.