To coincide with Mediterranean Coast Day, in collaboration with the municipality of Paralimni Keep our Sand and Sea Plastic Free organised an event to unveil an informative board for tourists and locals in Protaras, in front of Fig Tree Bay.
In parallel with the unveiling, students from the Gymnasio of Kokkinochoria Panos Ioannou and divers from Scuba Diving Support Center undertook a beach and sea clean-up, with the aim to send out the message that everyone has to keep our environment clean.
The event was addressed by Paralimni mayor Theodoros Pyrillis and the event was attended by representatives of organised 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.
Mediterranean Cοast Day is celebrated each year on September 25 with the aim of increasing environmental awareness among policymakers, 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.
“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,” commented President of the Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative Philippos Drousiotis.
“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,” added Project coordinator of Keep our Sand and Sea Plastic Free Panagiota Koutsofta.