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Cruise ships are major plastic polluters

Cypriot project targets cruise ships-generated plastic pollution

Cypriot project targets cruise ships-generated plastic pollution

229,000 tonnes of plastic is leaking into the Mediterranean Sea every year

The “Cruise Ships Against Plastic Pollution in the Mediterranean” project has been the focus of a recent meeting of Cypriot Deputy Minister for Shipping Vassilis Demetriades with Dr. Xenia Loizidou, head of the team of researchers implementing the initiative.

Actions to reduce single-use plastic waste   

The project is spearheaded by Isotech environmental research and consultancy company and is supported by the Shipping Ministry. The initiative aims to minimise marine plastic pollution and its effects on public health, marine environment and coastal tourism via targeted actions in the shipping industry and particularly cruise tourism.

The overall objective is to support key stakeholders to reduce plastic waste generated by cruise ships, and specifically single-use plastics. Also, to promote the implementation of effective waste management practices on cruise ships and at port reception facilities.

The Cypriot-inspired project has received the BeMed 2020 award from the project sponsor - Beyond Plastic Med foundation, supported by the Prince Albert of Monaco Foundation. BeMed recognizes each year the best action proposals for reducing plastic pollution in the Mediterranean Sea.

Raising awareness

According to a press release, at the meeting Deputy Minister Demetriades and Dr. Loizidou discussed further cooperation in achieving the project`s objectives. They also sought ways to raise awareness among passengers and involve decision-makers in the cruise sector, such as ship owners and port receptionist managers.

They agreed on actions including information campaigns, waste measurements and development of solutions that will minimise the use of disposable plastics and improve waste management methods, so that the Mediterranean can be less plastic-ridden.

Over 200 000 tones of plastic leakage each year

A 2020 report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) found that an estimated 229,000 tonnes of plastic are leaking into the Mediterranean Sea annually, equivalent to over 500 shipping containers a day. The report’s authors warn that unless significant measures are taken to address mismanaged waste, the main source of the leakage, the quantity of plastic waste will increase at least twofold by 2040.

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