Keeping Sand and Sea Plastic Free in Cyprus

Keep Our Sand and Sea Plastic Free, a TUI Care Foundation initiative delivered in partnership with the Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative (CSTI), brought together tourists, tourism businesses and residents across Ayia Napa, Protaras and the wider Famagusta region of Cyprus to cut consumption of single-use plastic.

The project has now been extended, and will run for a further three years (to 2025) with an extension to Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos.with delivery spearheaded by CSTI.

It has produced some excellent results, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting drop in international arrivals (84% in 2020 and 51% in 2021 compared to 2019 levels).

What results did we see?

Concept of choice: save nature or continue to use disposable plastic

Reduced volumes of single-use plastic procured and used by tourism businesses

Between 2019 and 2021, the hotels and restaurants involved in the project have made significant reductions in relation to specific single use plastic items. This includes a 98% reduction in use of plastic straws, a 61% decrease in use of plastic cups, and a 34% decrease in use of plastic water bottles. Businesses also cut use of plastic take-away boxes by 77% and plastic cutlery by 71%. For a full list of items, please see the project case study.

Positive changes in practice to reduce single-use plastics waste 

96% of signed-up businesses have made at least one positive change or reduction in the period 2019-2021 and many have made multiple changes and reductions. More than 300 people in key positions (all over the island) were reached and most of them started implementing our suggestions for the reduction of single use plastic items. The project’s toolkits have also been well used.

Raising awareness among tourists and locals

We estimate that at least 500,000 residents and tourists have been reached through the variety of project activities implemented, including the awareness-raising leaflet, information and publicity events, billboard, public signage, art installations, plastic free beaches, photo exhibition touring the island and media activities. Showing of the project animation in the two international airports in Cyprus will extend this reach significantly.  

Educational programme reaches more than a third of the school population

Schools presentations, including showing the animation, have now reached 2186 students, exceeding the project target. The Ministry of Education has now included the project animation on its website, making it available to all schools in Cyprus to use themselves.

The completion of the project’s first three years was marked by a celebratory event in Cyprus on 1 June, and the Travel Foundation is pleased that country partner CSTI will be spearheading its continuation, with funding from TUI Care Foundation.

Although we will provide some support as one of the originating partners, it is great to see CSTI taking this initiative forward and extending it to new resorts, bringing Cyprus closer to being plastic-free.

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