It started with a refill station at Yermasoyia and is now spreading to other municipalities around the island
By Eleni Kazelas
Last Monday, March 22, was World Water Day, and to mark it, Let’s Make Cyprus Green announced the latest plans to update its Refill Cyprus campaign.
We installed our first water refill station on the Yermasoyia seafront last October which was the soft-launch of Refill Cyprus – a behaviour change campaign created to help people reduce plastic pollution by making it easier to reuse and refill their bottles with free filtered water through the use of water refill stations.
Since the launch, the feedback we’ve received from the public has been wonderful, they really like the initiative. However, some are confused because they have the idea that as long as you recycle your plastic bottle, there is no harm being done to the environment, which is not the case. The life-cycle analysis of the product, which is a method for quantifying the environmental impact of a product across its entire life-cycle – from the extraction of raw materials, transportation, manufacturing, distribution and use to disposal – has to also be taken into consideration.
Additionally, this common misconception that plastic can be recycled many times over allows many to justify high use of single-use plastics because they are recyclable and therefore do not end up as waste. However, no matter how much plastic we end up recycling, there will still be a high demand for plastic, it will continue to pollute landfills and oceans, and we will continue to see the rising emissions that result which are damaging the environment.
Refill Cyprus negates damage caused by plastic because we’re not sanctioning the use of plastic at all. Instead, we’re encouraging people to refill their own, reusable bottles: an effective way to stop depending so heavily on single-use plastic, and instead, help to prevent waste entirely.
To date, we’ve saved approximately 6,000 plastic bottles from just the one station in Yermasoyia. Since the launch, we’ve been continuously trying to reach agreements with more municipalities to be able to install more refill stations across the island. We really want to improve availability and access to clean and free drinking water for people who are on-the-go. And without a doubt, filtered tap water is the most sustainable and healthy choice when it comes to quenching your thirst. So as well as helping the environment, you’ll be saving money by not continuously purchasing bottled water; it’s a win-win.
We’re thrilled to announce that in addition to the Yermasoyia municipality, we have two new municipalities that have signed up to help combat plastic pollution with us. It has been agreed that a total of five more water refill stations will be installed within the Paralimni and Aglantzia municipalities.
Our goal is to install all five stations before the end of the summer but we need to raise funds for two of the stations. We are actively seeking donations and have created a crowdfunding campaign for those who would like to help by contributing to Refill Cyprus – https://fundrazr.com/31n1Q9?ref=ab_a9NcY4
Some additional points:
- Corporate sponsors can also reach out to us if they are interested in enhancing their CSR initiatives at [email protected]
- We are close to reaching agreements with two more municipalities within the Limassol district and encourage other interested municipalities to reach out to us if they would like to install refill stations within their municipality
- The refill stations dispense water by waving your hand over a touch-free sensor so you have zero-contact with the station and are cleaned regularly
- The water from the refill stations is: FREE – Absolutely zero cost to refill your bottle FILTERED – Making the tap water quality and taste much better and is completely safe to drink CHILLED – For those hot summer months
- Refill Cyprus was nominated for an Energy Globe Award, the world award for sustainability and is today’s most renowned environmental prize worldwide
- Reusable stainless steel bottles that help to support the campaign can be purchased through our website – www.letsmakecyprusgreen.com/eco-shop/
Eleni Kazelas is director and founder of Let’s make Cyprus Green