BeMed: The Cyprus Responsible Coastal Businesses Network against Single-Use Plastics
Date: 2019 - 2020
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:
1️⃣. 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).
2️⃣. 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.
3️⃣. 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:
1️⃣. Organization and implementation of field trips and beach/seabed clean ups with source identification, for marine litter assessment engaging coastal business owners, beachgoers and local communities.
📸🌊Some photos from the Beach and Seabed Cleanups, are available here:
2️⃣. 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.
An electronic version of the Guide, is available here:
3️⃣. 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.
✅ The Responsible Coastal Businesses Network is visible on this Map.
4️⃣. 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.
📸Some photos from the Training of the Trainers by Dr. Michael Loizides and Dr. Xenia Loizidou for the presentations in schools, are available here:
📸Some photos from the School Visits, are available here:
📸Some photos from the Awareness Raising Campaign in Universities, are available here:
5️⃣. Organization of a highly publicized final event to present the outcomes of the Initiative:
A highly publicised Final event was implemented at the end of the project. The ceremony took place on June 5, 2020 on the occasion of the World Environment Day, at the Municipal Beach of Geroskipou in Paphos. During the event, the overall results of the initiative were presented, and two artistic installations on marine litter were inaugurated. For the installations, AKTI Project and Research Centre collaborated with the Municipality of Geroskipou and the Second Primary School of Geroskipou, under the supervision of Ms Elena Daniel, a Cypriot artist.
The philosophy behind the installation, is the participation of visitors to the beach in the drastic reduction of the inappropriate disposal of plastic waste. The installations are a fun and interactive way to engage children and adults alike in the fight against plastic marine pollution, and act as a reminder that we must find ways to adopt a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. The event took place in the presence of the Environment Commissioner of Cyprus Mrs. Klelia Vassiliou and was attended by over 60 people (observing social distancing practices), including the Geroskipou Mayor Mr. Michael Pavlides and council members, the artist of the installation Ms. Elena Daniel, the Chairperson of Fishermen Federation in Paphos Mr. Leonidas Leonidou, Koloni Green Point manager Mr. Michael Michael, media (TV, radios and newspapers/e-media), Members of the Paphos Winter Swimmers Association, Members of Paphos Fishermen Association, representatives of the First and Second Primary School of Geroskipou, the Gymnasium of Agia Paraskevi and Giannaki Talioti High School in Geroskipou, Members of the Cultural Movement of Geroskipou and Local Community Members. The Ceremony was hugely successful with high Media coverage and publicity, and all stakeholders gave AKTI very positive feedback!
You can find below news clips, about the final event:
📸Some photos from the Final Event, are available here:
6️⃣. Extensive communication and dissemination activities through the duration of the project, targeting various audiences through a range of means.
7️⃣. Active involvement of coastal Local Authorities both during the beach clean ups and the visits/awareness raising of coastal business network.
✅Be Μed good practice guide was presented to 16 local authorities, aimed at informing them on the environmental impact of single-use plastics and on how coastal authorities can implement practices that will minimise their consumption of single use plastics: