Waste management is something that needs to be tackled at the source, said US ambassador to Cyprus, Judith Garber, marking International Coastal CleanUp Day in Larnaca.
Garber participated at the clean-up of the CTO beach in Larnaca, organised by the non-governmental organisation AKTI.
The International Coastal CleanUp Day encourages people to rid beaches of the garbage plaguing beaches. Awareness is also spread about preserving and protecting the world`s oceans and waterways.
Garber said the embassy is so proud to partner with AKTI and participating in this event is something they try to do every year.
Plastic in the ocean is such a “huge issue and something I am a tremendous advocate about and the Biden administration is putting as a tremendous priority” said Garber, as estimates indicate that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish and approximately 8-10 million bottles of plastic end up in the ocean every single year.
“Waste management is really something that really needs to be tackled at the source, is not just about cleaning up here along the beach is about what we all do absolutely every day to make sure that we are reducing the amount of single use plastics”, the ambassador said.
We need to be conscious about the waste “that we are throwing into the environment because all that ends up in the ocean, that affects our ecosystem, that affects very much the world in which we live”, the diplomat said, adding it also affects our food chain as plastic never fully degrades. “We don’t know how that is affecting us but we do know it has a negative effect on the environment and biodiversity in the seas”.
Xenia Loizides, who holds the chair of AKTI Project and Research Centre, thanked Garber for her support to mark International Coastal CleanUp Day.
She also referred to the #potavristou campaign that is running again this year following success over the last 2 years. Noting this project is supported by MIO-ECSDE, the Mediterranean Information Office for Environment, Culture and Sustainable Development and is implemented in 20 countries so far.
It is very significant to hold campaigns which make everyone aware of waste management, said Loizides, adding it is equally significant to realise that our seas and planet have turned into a landfill, something that needs to stop.
AKTI was established in 2000 by a group of experts in environmental issues and has succeeded today to create an extensive network of collaborators and volunteers for raising environmental awareness and promoting sustainable development.
A total of 23 kilos of waste and more than 800 cigarette stubs were collected during Saturday’s event.