Keep Sand and Sea Plastic Free Initiative Officially Launched in Cyprus

A new initiative working with tourism businesses and community groups to eradicate single-use plastics in Ayia Napa, Cyprus, was launched last week. “Keep Our Sand and Sea Plastic Free” is a TUI Care Foundation project with support from the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment, the Cyprus Hotel Association (PASYXE), European Commission Representation in Cyprus, Commissioner of Environment, the University of Nicosia and others. It will be delivered by the Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative (CSTI) and the Travel Foundation.

During his opening words, Thomas Ellerbeck, Chairman of the TUI Care Foundation, said: “We believe that if tourism is developed in the right way, it has a lot of power to improve social and environmental standards for communities and destinations. This project can become a blueprint on how to change minds about single-use plastics, and protect nature. If we are successful here, we could take it to other places in the world. We are proud to start this project today, with support from partners in the tourism sector and the wider community. The Government of Cyprus, Deputy Minister Savvas Perdios and the European Union have contributed a lot to the successful launch of this initiative. The TUI Care Foundation takes action and do support the Green Deal of the new Commission, which was announced by President Ursula von der Leyen earlier this year. Everyone can make a difference and we are proud to contribute.”  

"We will soon be publishing our new tourism strategy for the next decade, and it is absolutely vital that sustainability plays a role. I congratulate the TUI Care Foundation, CSTI and the Travel Foundation for this initiative, and it is an honour that it starts here, in Cyprus. If we want a future for tourism, we must act now. There is a big project ahead of us – let’s go for it”, said Mr. Savvas Perdios, Deputy Minister of Tourism.

Last week’s event, held at Ayia Napa’s Thalassa Museum and moderated by the environmental journalist Theodoulos Koullapi, brought together over 100 dignitaries from national government, municipalities, hotels, other tourism businesses and community organisations to gather support for action and build a stong local community. The project has already inspired activities, such as beach cleans. The litter collected from those clean-ups was  used to fill a whale sculpture, crafted by students from Paralimni Lyceum, which was on display at the launch event.

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