On Thursday April 8 July 2021, the launch event of the project titled “Reducing the Consumption and Disposal of Single-use Plastics in the Tourism Industry in Cyprus, Greece and Malta”, also known as “SUPMed”, was held. In the event, several stakeholders participated such as general and waste managers of tourist establishments, representatives from local and national public authorities, members of research institutions and universities in the three regions.
During the event, the participants had the chance to hear more about the problems that the tourism industry is facing due to the usage of Single-use Plastics (SUP), the EU’s agenda on the reduction and replacement of SUP, the project’s expected outputs and outcomes and the role of each partner in the project. Also, the participants had the chance to learn more about the EEA and Norway Grants from representatives of the Fund Operator.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Launch Event was held digitally via Zoom. All the presentations of the Launch Event will be posted to the project website.
The SUPMed project runs until June 2023 with a total budget of €1,279,405.00. The six project partners participating in the project are Aspon Consulting Ltd as the Lead Partner (CY), Heraklion Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GR), Anelixis Development Consultants S.A. (GR), Cellock Ltd (CY), AIS Environment (MT) and the Cyprus Hotel Association (CY).
The project consortium aims to reduce the consumption, disposal and impacts of SUP in the tourism sector in these three regions, in line with EU Directive 2019/904 on the reduction of the impacts of plastic products. Through this project, the partners will support samples of coastal tourist establishments in Cyprus, Malta and Greece (Crete) via pilots to move to sustainable resource-efficient business models. The establishments will identify and replace commonly-used SUP with environmentally friendlier, readily available and affordable alternatives. The pilot samples will be supported in phasing out and replacing SUP via a bespoke free web-based decision-support tool (DST) that will be developed. The DST will present viable and available alternatives to the most commonly used SUP, taking into consideration the cost and environmental impacts of each alternative across its life-cycle.
Following the completion of the pilot in each of the three regions, best practise guides will be developed that will present the findings of the pilots, the impacts of plastic waste on human health and the environment, how to reduce SUP in the tourism and other sectors and what envirionmentally friendlier and affordable alternatives are available. These guides will be disseminated to SMEs, NGOs, tourist establishments and other relevant stakeholders in the three regions and across Europe, as an additional support tool in replacing SUPs.