Volunteers in Cyprus have joined the worldwide campaign of NGO Big Blue Ocean Cleanup to wage war against plastic pollution on the coast and sea.
The main aim is to tackle the problem of single use plastics that are used in modern day society, and the devastating effect that they cause to our oceans and marine life, says Big Blue ambassador in Cyprus Nick Drake.
“By cleaning our beaches rivers and oceans we can help the catastrophic situation that is going on beneath our seas,” the Paphos-based volunteer who has been busy organising beach clean ups here told in-cyprus.com.
As well as having dedicated members who support the development of innovative technologies to help reduce pollution in our oceans through university studies in England, the NGO has dedicated ambassadors who are working hard to organise beach cleanups across the globe.
The hope is that everyone who wants to get involved can participate in spending a small amount of time helping others to walk the beach and clear any waste that we can.
“We provide gloves, rubbish sacks and drinking water. And of course, plenty of useful information on what we are trying to achieve,” he added.
“I am an ambassador currently based in Cyprus (Paphos) and as an ambassador to Big Blue Ocean Cleanup it is my role to organise beach cleanups in the area. I will do this through social media or simply by heading to a local beach of choice, rounding up as many local people or tourists as possible and ask if they would take some time out of there day to help.
“All the waste that is collected will be disposed of by my team in nearby refuse bins and everything that is recyclable will be taken to the local recycling site do be disposed of correctly.”
The NGO has been active in Cyprus for three years now, organising cleanups and studying the waste problem.
“Although we feel the problem with public waste is starting to reduce in the area, the waste that is being washed ashore on our beaches is still on the rise. And the increase in micro plastic on the beaches and in the water is constantly increasing and is a serious problem not only in Cyprus but throughout the world’s oceans. “
Education and facilities are a main factor in the NGO’s efforts to try and help make people more aware of the ongoing problems of plastic pollution.
“People are very limited in Cyprus as to where they can dispose of their waste correctly. And are not given the facilities to do so! There are only a handful of recycling centres that we know of where you can dispose of correctly your household waste. Instead we are forced to just put all our mixed waste into one bin at the end of our street,” he noted..
Given the current war on plastic, this is a huge problem.
“We feel that the relevant authorities almost don’t care in this area. The supermarkets are selling us a single vegetable in a single use plastic bag, the restaurants are giving us plastic straws with every soft drink and the long-term effects of this, that the consumer isn’t aware of, are devastating,” he warned.
There is awareness of the problem that plastic has caused to our planet and how we are contributing to this, but awareness without action is ineffective.
“Plastic is now in the human food chain and it’s about time we acted! We welcome volunteers to come along to our beach cleanups and take part in helping to clean the beach,” said Drake.
“We are always recruiting new ambassadors and we need everyone to get involved.”
Check out the NGO’s Facebook page (Big Blue Ocean Cleanup) about the next beach clean up.
Find out more at www.bigblueoceancleanup.org