Thank you to everyone who participated at our Amathos River Cleanup on Saturday, September 21st, 2019 in Potamos Germasogeia in honor of World Cleanup Day – a global social action program aimed at combating the global solid waste problem, including the problem of marine debris.
Because Amathos River rarely filled with water, it is commonly used for parking and outdoor events. However, as some of you may know, the Germasogeia Dam overflowed this year due to the heavy rain. When the dam overflows, the excess water flows from the dam to the river, and eventually into the sea – taking the plastic litter along with it. For this reason, we chose to have our cleanup at Amathos River.
At the cleanup, there was a total of 70 amazing, multicultural volunteers ranging from age 3-69 that came from all areas of Cyprus and put in their efforts to help us clean. Because we only gave 1 weeks notice for this cleanup, we were so happy to see so many people turn up to help!
In just 2 hours of cleaning, we managed to collect 133 bags full of trash and recyclable materials:
We found lots of interesting items at this cleanup – including tons of plastic children’s toys. If you’re a parent, then you’ll know how tricky it can be to avoid buying these, but the cold hard truth is that these toys are contributing to the amount of plastic that ends up polluting the environment. Whilst we don’t know exactly how many plastic toys end up in landfills, there are still so many ways that consumers can help reduce the number of plastic toys in circulation – such as:
- Simply cut back on buying plastic toys & switch to alternative materials like sustainable wood.
- Borrow & share toys from friends & family members.
- Purchase used toys.
We also found lots of cookware. Everything from pots, pans, toasters, tupperware, and convection ovens – all in pretty great condition too. It’s always a shame to find these items ending up as litter, especially when there are so many better ways to put them to use, such as:
- Donate them to a second-hand shop, a charity, or list them online. Hint: Household items are something that Refugees in Cyprus are currently on the lookout for.
- If broken, take to a repair shop rather than purchasing something new.
Some other interesting finds were:
- 1 house fan
- 1 couch
- 2 chairs
- 1 unopened bottle of perfume
Much of the plastic polluting our communities comes clearly branded with a company name, which means we can hold these companies accountable. During the event, we asked volunteers to record the most picked up brand. The top three were:
- St Nicholas Water
- Agros Water
- Costa Coffee
We believe that the government should hold big corporations accountable for the plastic waste they produce and that the companies need to drastically reduce their plastic production and distribution by for example using alternative packaging methods, and committing to using recycled plastic in their products – it’s time to put the spotlight on corporations! If you agree, please make your voice heard with us by sharing this open letter to the bottled water companies in Cyprus.
We’d also like to thank our supporters & sponsors for helping with the event: