On Wednesday 7 July 2021, the 1st press 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 by Cyprus Hotel Association. The event was held via Zoom due to the COVID-19 restriction measures. Several stakeholders of the project based in Cyprus were invited, such as representatives of tourist establishments, suppliers and SMEs, representatives from local and national public authorities etc.
During the 1st press event, the attendees had the chance to familiarise themselves with what this project aims to achieve, the methodology to be used by the project partners, the progress made so far, what tourist establishments are participating in each country’s pilot and the contribution of EEA and Norway Grants about the conept of circular economy and how this project will assist tourist establishments in adopting circular economy practices with a focus on the replacement of Single-Use Plastic (SUP) products.
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.