Seasonal and geographic variations of marine litter: A comprehensive study from the island of Cyprus
Authors: Demetra L. Orthodoxou, Dr. Xenia I. Loizidou, Christina Baldwin, Cemile Kocareis, Anastasis Karonias, Maria Ayça Ates¸
Published in: Marine Pollution Bulletin
Abstract: Twenty beaches located around the island of Cyprus, in the eastern Mediterranean, were identified as monitoring sites. They were monitored over four monitoring sessions from January to September 2021 to assess marine litter amounts, categories, and spatiotemporal distribution. A total of 42,499 marine litter items were collected. The average marine litter density was 0.19 items/m2. Most of the collected items were plastics, with single-use plastics being ubiquitous. Plastic fragments >2.5 cm made a significant proportion of the plastic litter collected, particularly in the northern coasts of the island. Cigarette butts were abundant on touristic beaches, especially in the tourism period. The study identifies significant temporal and spatial variations in the abundance and distribution of marine litter, as well as variations related to waste management or lack thereof.
Plastic pollution on the Mediterranean coastline: Generating fit-for-purpose data to support decision-making via a participatory-science initiative
Authors: Thomais Vlachogianni, Miha Skocir, Paulin Constantin, Céline Labbe, Demetra Orthodoxou, Ioannis Pesmatzoglou, Danilo Scannella, Matea Spika, Vassilis Zissimopoulos, Michael Scoullos.
Published in: Science of the Total Environment
Abstract: Plastic pollution is a global problem and reliable, coherent and comparable data are essential for targeted mitigation strategies. Throughout the years Mediterranean NGOs have significantly contributed to providing data and information on the temporal and spatial distribution of marine litter found stranded on beaches; thus participatory-science campaigns are an essential tool to fill in the marine litter knowledge gaps. The present study reports the findings of beach litter surveys carried out by 7 NGOs in 23 sites along the coastline of the Mediterranean. The average litter density per site varied from 53 items/100 m to 6,660 items/100 m, with a median of 451 items/100 m. The majority of litter items were made of artificial/ anthropogenic polymer materials accounting for 90% of all litter collected. Litter from shoreline sources accounted for 38%. Single-use plastics (SUPs) accounted for 38% of all items recorded ranging from 18.6% to 66.9% for the different beaches. 30% of the investigated beaches had more than 50% of SUPs of the total items recorded, thus providing baseline information and supporting evidence for the Single-Use Plastics Directive.
Sustainable business events: The perceptions of service providers, attendees, and stakeholders in decision-making positions
Authors: Demetra L. Orthodoxou, Dr. Xenia I. Loizidou, Anthi Gavriel, Stephanie Hadjiprocopiou, Demetra Petsa, Kyriaki Demetriou
Published in: Journal of Convention & Event Tourism
Abstract: Sustainable business events have the potential to diversify the tourism offering of destinations, to attract higher-spending visitors, and to elongate the tourism season, while economically, socially and environmentally benefiting host communities. Nonetheless, the incorporation of sustainability principles in business events requires coordinated actions and collaboration from a range of stakeholders, including service providers and those in decision-making positions. This research employed quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate the perceptions of 50 business event attendees, 16 business event service providers, and five decision-makers in Cyprus with regards to the state of the business event sector’s sustainability, and obstacles and opportunities for its sustainable growth. Our findings suggest that very few sustainability practices are currently implemented in the organization of business events and demand for sustainability is relatively low. However, the provision of incentives coupled with trainings and capacity building for key actors within the supply chain as well as extensive horizontal awareness-raising activities could catalyze the transition of the business event sector toward sustainability and attract additional business events to Cyprus. Importantly, the emergence of a sustainable business event sector in Cyprus could also contribute to the sector’s and the country’s post- COVID-19 recovery.
Circular Bioeconomy in Action: Collection and Recycling of Domestic Used Cooking Oil through a Social, Reverse Logistics System
Authors: Dr. Michael I. Loizides, Dr. Xenia I. Loizidou, Ms. Demetra L. Orthodoxou, Ms. Demetra Petsa
Published in: Recycling
Abstract: The inappropriate disposal of millions of tons of domestically produced used cooking oil (UCO), either down domestic household drains or in landfill, causes significant detrimental effects on the environment but also constitutes the loss of a valuable resource, since used cooking oil is a sought-after feedstock for biodiesel production. This paper presents findings from a social reverse logistics system, called InnovOleum, for collecting and recycling domestic used cooking oil through schools. The disruptive, social aspect of InnovOleum derives from the provision of funds from the sale of the collected used cooking oil to be invested within the participating schools in ongoing environmental education and green infrastructure and technology. To date, over 200,000 Euros have been distributed to schools for this purpose. No other schemes with similar potential to fully harness the environmental and social benefits from the collection and conversion of domestically produced used cooking oil have been found in literature. This publication can therefore significantly contribute to the knowledge base and facilitate the transfer of this scheme elsewhere.
Persistent marine litter: small plastics and cigarette butts remain on beaches after organized beach cleanups
Authors: Dr. Xenia I. Loizidou, Dr. Michael I. Loizides, Ms. Demetra L. Orthodoxou
Published in: Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
Abstract: Cyprus is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean whose economy is largely dependent on coastal tourism. It boasts some of the cleanest waters in Europe and has the largest number of Blue Flag awarded beaches per capita in the world. These beaches are managed by local authorities and are regularly cleaned, throughout the year, at least once per day. This paper presents findings from cleanups that were organized over the summers of 2016 and 2017 on nine Blue Flag beaches around the island of Cyprus, after the beaches were cleaned by the responsible authorities. The aim was to answer the following questions: ‘Are regular beach cleanups by local authorities efficient?’ and ‘What is left on a Bclean^ beach?’ The results suggest that local authority cleanup efforts are quite successful at collecting larger pieces of marine litter, leaving the beach seemingly clean. However, small pieces of litter, such as cigarette butts and small pieces of plastic items related to recreational activities, remain on the beach. They likely accumulate or are buried over time, with some items becoming a nuisance to beach goers and a potential source of marine litter.
New Publication: Seasonal and geographic variations of marine litter: A comprehensive study from the island of Cyprus
As part of the project MarLitCy, AKTI alongside the other partners on the project has a new publication in the world-renowned marine litter journal, Marine Pollution Bulletin.
This paper is based on a years worth of data collected from targeted beach cleanups across the geographic spread of the island. Such a comprehensive spread of data from the island of Cyprus has never before been achieved, making the publication of this paper a proud moment!
AKTI would like to thank all the authors and partner organisations on the project: MASDER, Enalia Physis Environmental Research Centre, and NCDCA.
You can read the publication using this link.