Nine coastal businesses were honoured for reducing their plastic waste at the Zero Waste Beach Awards 2022, at a ceremony held on June 22. The good practice competition is part of the innovative Zero Waste Beach programme, implemented by the AKTI Project and Research Centre, in a dynamic partnership with the Coca-Cola Foundation.
From its launch in 2018 till today, the programme’s actions have shown impressive results, achieving, with the contribution of 25 local authorities, 64 public sector entities and the Network’s member companies, the collection of approximately 2,547 tonnes of recyclable materials.
The awards event took place at Nicosia’s Old Power House venue, in the presence of Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Costas Kadis. Environmental responsibility, sustainability, innovation and social responsibility were the key features characterising the award-winning companies.
Notably, the awards presented were made of recyclable materials and curated by artist Sosse Eskijian.
In the large companies category, the following were awarded:
- Sustainability Award: Kanika Hotels & Resorts
- Innovation Award: Atlantica Sancta Napa Hotel
- Social Responsibility Award: Louis Hotels
- Environmental Responsibility Award: Aliathon Hotel
In the small business category, the following were awarded:
- Sustainability Award: Medflora Museum (detox centre)
- Environmental Responsibility Award: Grape by the Sea
- Innovation Award: Sandy Beach Bar
- Social Responsibility Award: Technopolis20
A commendation was awarded to Fitos Inn Hotel for its sustainable practices.
The winners stood out from among 320 nominations submitted by members of the Coastal Responsible Business Network. The Network has been operating for four years under the Zero Waste Beach programme, and aims to mobilise all stakeholders and the public in the fight against marine plastic pollution.
In his address, after congratulating the Zero Waste Beach participants, Agriculture Minister Kadis, observed that: “addressing the problem of marine litter is of particular importance for Cyprus, due to its island character and the negative impact that waste has on economic activities, such as tourism and fishing, on which our country is highly dependent”.
Kadis further assured the programme’s stakeholders that their valuable efforts and initiatives to achieve clean seas had the full support of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment.
AKTI Board of Directors Chairperson Dr. Xenia Loizidou thereafter reported on the results of the Zero Waste Beach project so far.
“The results of the project are significant; they show how, with cooperation, we can achieve a lot,” she said.
“Plastics left free in nature are never lost: they become microplastics and remain forever in the environment, affecting the planet’s ecosystems and public health,” she continued, adding: “Cyprus businesses have shown great sensitivity and readiness to work together with civil society, to reduce plastic pollution, for clean seas.”
In her own address, Coca Cola HBC Cyprus Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Manager Melina Limnati pointed out the key contribution of Zero Waste Beach to raising awareness and spurring action on marine plastic pollution by a significant portion of the population.
“The project achieved remarkable substantial and measurable results, mobilising significant segments of society, with member companies and volunteers as protagonists, and setting a shining example to follow,” she noted.
“We invite other companies to join the Zero Waste Beach programme, further strengthening our efforts.”