BeMed:The Cyprus Responsible Coastal Businesses Network against Single-Use Plastics
Marine litter is an environmental, economic as well as human health problem with no simple solution. It poses a global, complex and multi-dimensional challenge with significant implications for the marine and coastal environment and human activities all over the world. Single-use plastic products constitute more than 70% of all marine litter items. The European Commission in May, 2018 proposed new EU-wide rules that target to reduce the ten most common single-use plastic products found on Europe’s coastal areas and seas.
This year-long project funded by the Beyond Plastic Med Foundation aims to raise awareness on the impact of single-use plastics on the environment and consequently on human health and provide practical solutions to the problem targeting key stakeholders of the Cypriot society, specifically coastal businesses.
The specific objectives of the project are:
(1) awareness-raising of key stakeholders who contribute to, are affected by and are responsible for taking decisions regarding the usage of single-use plastics, particularly coastal businesses and local authorities, as well as the general public. Promote the need to reduce the use of single-use plastics, presenting their detrimental effects on the marine environment and offering a solution oriented campaign (as presented in following points (2) and (3);
(2) collection and dissemination of best practices for the reduction of single-use plastics through synergistic, novel and practical solutions to the problem. Collaboration of the key stakeholders will be encouraged and recorded;
(3) expansion of civic engagement through capacity building and skills development in conscious single-use plastic usage, in order to have a societal level change (i.e. coastal business owners, beachgoers, local authorities, students) in regards with the latest proposed EU Directive which aims to reduce marine litter.
To realize this objectives the project includes a series of interrelated activities :
(1) Organization and implementation of field trips and beach clean ups with source identification, for marine litter assessment engaging coastal business owners, beachgoers and local communities.
(2) Production of a Guide highlighting the practices that can be applied by each stakeholder/target group in order to reduce the use of single-use plastics;
(3) Extensive awareness raising campaign in the summer of 2019 to enlarge the existing Network of Responsible Coastal Businesses that was created through the previous Initiative, so as to include additional types of businesses such as hotels, kiosks etc that will adhere to a Decalogue of Good Practice.
(4) Implementation of school visits to inform and raise awareness in children and youth about the problem of single-use plastics and its negative impacts on the marine environment.
(5) Organization of a highly publicized final event to present the outcomes of the Initiative. The event will be organised on-board, in order to promote the symbolism of Litter Free Mediterranean and maximise the awareness.
(6) Extensive communication and dissemination activities through the duration of the project, targeting various audiences through a range of means.
(7) Active involvement of coastal Local Authorities both during the beach clean ups and the visits/awareness raising of coastal business network.