News Local NGO holding public awareness events on plastic waste reduction

NGO holding public awareness events on plastic waste reduction

The NGO Let’s Make Cyprus Green is holding two events in Nicosia to raise public awareness about alternatives to plastic as part of efforts to reduce waste.

Let’s Make Cyprus Green will be at Etherio Larnakos Avenue, Nicosia on Thursday between 15.30 and 18.15 and at Etherio Tseriou Avenue, Nicosia on Friday between 15.30 and 19.00.

In statements to CNA Chairwoman and of Let’s Make Cyprus Green Eleni Kazelas warns about the dangers of plastic.

Recycling is not the solution, she says, proposing that people change their attitude and reduce the amount of plastic waste they produce.

To that end, the NGO designs and sells alternatives to plastic products, such as reusable bags for fruit and vegetables, bamboo toothbrushes, stainless steel straws and others. “Together we can save the planet”, a tag on a reusable produce bag reads, adding: “one bag at a time.”

The NGO was an idea which was born out of the love of a couple for a beach in Limassol and has grown steadily over the course of a year. Asked whether what started as a group of people cleaning up one beach has evolved into an NGO she replies positively. “Yes, we finally got NGO status. We are officially an association now. We grew from a team of two and now we number 60 members,” she says.

“We are actively trying to raise awareness in the public about the negative human impact to the planet, but more focusing on waste and plastic. Reducing as much as possible, reusing as much as possible and then recycling only as a last resort,” she says replying to another question.

Asked about the products they have on sale, Kazelas says “we have about 15 different products,” adding that “they are designed here in Cyprus and we manufacture them abroad.”

Replying to a question whether they may manufacture them in Cyprus in future, she replies “hopefully, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.”

All the products are to help reduce waste as much as possible. Any product which cannot be reused for many years, such as a toothbrush or a cotton bud “is 100% biodegradable or compostable,” she notes.

According to Kazelas “many items, especially single-use items – such as plastic straws, toothbrushes, and coffee stirrers, cannot be recycled to begin with.”

She proposes that “a better solution is to refuse single-use plastic. If single-use plastic is stopped from the source, only then will we be able to see immediate results.”

As consumers, she adds, “we play a big role in this.”

Kazelas continues pointing out that “when people actively refuse plastic, there would be less of a demand for it, which will ultimately result in a clean and healthy planet.”

“We promote refusing plastic as much as possible, reusing what you can and recycle only as a last resort,” she adds.

In addition to pop-up events, Let’s Make Cyprus Green holds regular corporate and public beach clean-ups to stop plastic waste reaching the sea and harming marine life as well as presentations to schools and businesses.

(Cyprus News Agency)

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