Cyprus Mail

Let’s Make Cyprus Green recognised for its work

award ceremony web
Co-founder and chairman Eleni Kazelas accepts the EU4Oceans award

A Cyprus project has been voted ‘Best Youth Initiative’ for Ocean Conservation in the EU4Ocean Awards. The Refill Cyprus project, created by Let’s Make Cyprus Green (LMCG), aims to reduce plastic bottle waste by making it easier for people to reuse and refill their water bottles while on the go.

Through voluntary efforts and donations, LMCG has already installed three water stations on popular beach walking paths, will install a fourth by the end of June and has approval to install ten more in different municipalities across the island.

As well as improving access to free, filtered and chilled drinking water in public spaces, the Refill Cyprus campaign seeks to raise awareness of the environmental problems caused by plastic pollution and the need to switch to reusable containers wherever possible.

The EU4Ocean Coalition is an EU-supported initiative to promote “ocean literacy” throughout Europe. It provides a platform for organisations to share their ideas, for educating and mobilising the public to cherish and protect the sea.

The awards go to initiatives that best reflect these principles. Fourthy-five projects were nominated and six winners were chosen by an international jury, taking into account the results of public (online) voting.

Healthy oceans are critical for sustaining our life on Earth – they play a key role in regulating the climate and generate much of the oxygen we breathe. You could say oceans are the lungs of the planet.

They are also a major source of human food:  around 3 billion people rely on wild-caught and farmed seafood as their primary source of protein. As the largest traded food commodity in the world, seafood provides sustenance to billions of people worldwide.

Marine plastic pollution is now a global crisis which threatens the health of all marine life. Eighty per cent of marine debris comes from land-based sources and most of it is plastic. One hundred million marine animals die each year from plastic waste alone, either as a result of entanglement, or from eating plastic fragments which eventually clog their stomachs and cause starvation. Ingested microplastics have also been shown to cause adverse neurological effects in fish.

Accepting the EU4Oceans award on behalf of Let’s Make Cyprus Green, co-founder and chairman Eleni Kazelas said: “We’ve worked so hard to make this project come to life, and continue to work hard to expand and promote the project throughout Cyprus. I’d also like to extend a very big thank you to our sponsors who have helped us to purchase and maintain the water stations already installed. Thank you to the municipalities that have agreed to join the Refill Cyprus campaign. And to our members for your continued support. Without the help of each and every one of you, we would not have been able to celebrate this wonderful achievement today.”

LMCG’s third water station was installed on May 26 at the entrance of Malama Beach in Paralimni – the first station outside of the Limassol district – thanks to the help of the Chris Yianni Foundation, Paralimni Municipality, Karma Water Filtration and Zennetos Koumasi Professional Cleaning.

For further information on becoming a Refill Cyprus partner, please contact [email protected]

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