The innovative project “Zero Waste Beach” received a Gold Award at this year’s Cyprus Tourism Awards 2019

“Zero Waste Beach”, which aims to effectively manage marine plastic pollution, was awarded in the category “Sustainability / Corporate Social Responsibility” and particularly in the subcategory “Initiatives to protect the environment / Raising Awareness”. AKTI Project and Research Centre launched the project last year, with the support of Coca‑Cola Foundation, with a view to establish it as an institution.  Coca‑Cola supports the project in the context of its vision for “A World Without Waste”.

Kalia Patsia, Public Affairs & Communications Manager at Coca - Cola HBC Cyprus accepted the Gold Award for “Zero Waste Beach” at the Cyprus Tourism Awards 2019. In her statement, Mrs Patsia stressed that plastic pollution poses a risk to the closed-off Mediterranean Sea and said that the partnership between the Coca‑Cola Foundation and the AKTI Project and Research centre aims to help coastal businesses tackle the problem and at the same time raise public awareness.

“The protection of the environment and responsible development are Coca‑Cola’s top priorities. The Gold Award received by “Zero Waste Beach” at the Cyprus Tourism Awards is the best reward of an initiative that began last year and will continue, given that we hope to establish this project as an institution”, she stressed. Mrs. Patsia stated that soon, a new series of actions will be announced this year, in the context of “Zero Waste Beach” aiming to continue to raise public awareness and help coastal businesses adopt responsible practices, in order to free Cypriot coasts from plastic pollution.

“Zero Waste Beach” mobilised dozens of Coastal Businesses, operating on the coasts of Cyprus such as hotels, cafeterias, restaurants, hypermarkets, beach bars and kiosks. They participated in the effort by creating the “Responsible Coastal Businesses Network”, aiming to tackle marine pollution and especially plastic pollution. In fact, the “Zero Waste Champions Competition” was held for the first time, awarding businesses who participated in the effort to reduce plastic pollution. 54 coastal businesses participated in the competition, 5 of which were awarded for implementing sustainable practices. Furthermore, 2 local authorities, the Geroskipou Municipality and the Community Council of Kissonerga Office, were also awarded for supporting the cause and encouraging participation.

“On-the-go recycling” was one of the actions implemented in the first year of the project, where 50 PMD recycling bins were installed on beach walkways in cooperation with local authorities. In just 3 weeks, the bins that were spread out over 5 km, managed to collect 4.2 tonnes of PMD recyclable waste, showing how much garbage with recycling value ends up getting mixed with rubbish and ending up in landfills. At the same time, multiple beach clean-ups were organised, with the participation of coastal businesses, schools, and volunteers including Lanitis Bros staff. Finally, members of the Responsible Coastal Businesses network tracked and recorded the recycling waste produced by coastal businesses. Thin information was studied by AKTI and published online.

The Cyprus Tourism Awards were held under the auspices of the Deputy Ministry of Tourism, the Association of Cyprus Tourist Enterprises and the Cyprus Hotel Managers Association, while their purpose was to promote excellence and innovation in the Travel, Hospitality & Leisure sector. The awards ceremony, which was held last Wednesday in Nicosia, welcomed over 300 senior executives from Cyprus’ largest companies and tourism stakeholders, while best practices were awarded by an independent committee, which followed an impartial procedure that was determined by the organisers of the awards.