Keep our Sand and Sea Plastic Free

In Cyprus, plastics constitute most of the litter in the sea and on the beach, with bottles, straws, plastic bags, food containers and cotton buds the most common items found on the shoreline and in the water. In fact, 80% of the rubbish collected on beaches in Cyprus is plastic and only 16% of all plastic waste in the country is recycled. 

The tourism industry provides a perfect platform to help tackle the problem by increasing awareness of the issue and by reducing its own plastic usage.  

So, as part of its commitment to protecting nature and the environment, the TUI Care Foundation has teamed up with Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative (CSTI) to tackle single-use plastics in the coastal regions of Cyprus popular with tourists. It brings tourism businesses, visitors and residents together to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics. 

In 2022, the project was also the recipient of a Silver WTM Responsible Tourism Award in the category ‘Reducing Plastic Waste in the Environment’. 

The project initially focused on reducing the amount of single-use plastics waste generated and discarded on the popular beaches of Ayia Napa and Protaras, as well as promoting recycling in these resorts. It has now been expanded to Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos. Five beaches (Ayia Triada, Malama Beach, Gold Beach in Oroklini, St. Raphael's Beach in Pyrgos and Armonia Beach in Agios Tychonas) are already certified as plastic free beaches and two more will follow. 

300 local businesses including hotels, bars and restaurants will look to use alternatives to purchasing plastic items such as straws, cups, cutlery, bottles, bags and take-away food containers. They are also encouraged to look for ways to reduce, reuse and recycle. This will result in a reduction of 2.5 million tonnes of plastic being used. A ‘Bring your own cup’ app connects visitors with 50 local businesses offering discounts and events showcasing innovative upcycling will repurpose 2000kg of plastic waste. A ‘Plastic-free school’ initiative will reduce the plastic water bottle usage of 300 students.   

Awareness is also being raised about the issue of single-use plastics with tourists and local communities, with activities such as beach cleans, competitions, school activities and events. Social media engagement and an online community to drive outreach and awareness to over 300,000 residents and one million tourists are also part of the campaign.


Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative (CSTI) is a non-profit nongovernmental organisation which was established in 2006. It aims to harness tourism demand (tour operators, agents) with the supply of tourism resources (small producers and their communities) to develop a sustainable approach to tourism in Cyprus. Offering a memorable experience for the tourist, this approach also provides a clear economic benefit to villages marginalised by mass tourism, while minimising adverse socio-economic and environmental impact. 

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