The average density of litter on Cyprus beaches is 0.2 items per square metre, a bi-communal study showed.

The data on beach litter, available from the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) database, has been collected in 80 samplings from 20 coasts island-wide, from Karpasia to Akamas since 2020.

It is good to know what is reaching our shores, so that we can deal with it, Xenia Loizidou, President of the Board of Directors of Akti, a Cyprus-based NGO involved in the research, said.

Eighty-six per cent of the garbage is plastic, with plastic bottle caps making up the majority of that litter, Loizidou said.

Loizidou pointed out that the work, carried out in concert with Turkish Cypriot partners, aims to gather data on litter that collects on all coasts of Cyprus, either washed up from the sea or dumped on land.

“We are continuing the research with the aim of creating a time series that will allow for a better understanding of the problem and lead to its treatment,” Loizidou explained.

The data collection was initially supported by the EU in the framework of a bi-communal project and continues with volunteer work by the two NGOs, MASDER and AKTI.

This is the first time that data on marine litter in the Eastern Mediterranean has been systematically recorded, Loizidou added.

The Mediterranean is the world’s most plastic-polluted sea, Loizidou said, noting that the sea knows no borders and garbage dumped in the world’s seas results in microplastics and pollution everywhere.