Last Saturday, October 31st 2020, we launched #RefillCyprus – a behavior change campaign created to help people reduce plastic pollution by making it easier to reuse and refill bottles with free filtered water through the use of water refill stations.
This exciting new project begins with the installation of our very first Refill Station in Cyprus, which has been placed on the Yermasoyia seafront in Dasoudi, and we soon expect to see the project expand across the entire island.
#RefillCyprus is, we hope, the start of what will be a new collective effort and understanding. We are living in an age where one million plastic bottles are used every minute all around the globe – and this number is only rising. Even this close to our island home, every square kilometre of the beautiful Mediterranean Sea already contains up to 10 million plastic particles.
With the #RefillCyprus project, we’re tackling a number of issues of great importance – including climate change, human health, animal welfare, and environmental justice – by encouraging the public to discontinue the use of bottled water & make a habit of bringing a reusable bottle whenever going out.
Not everyone realises that plastic can often only be recycled once or twice into a new plastic product. Every time plastic is recycled, the polymer chain grows shorter, so the same piece of plastic decreases in quality to the point where it can no longer be used. This common misconception that plastic can be recycled many times over allows many to justify high use of single-use plastics on the basis because they are recyclable and therefore do not end up as waste. But no matter how much plastic we end up recycling, there will still be a high demand for plastic, it will continue to pollute landfills and oceans, and we will continue to see the rising emissions which are damaging our environment.
In fact, of the plastic waste produced between 1950 and 2015, only 9% was actually recycled. That’s 65 years of recycling not solving the plastic pollution crisis. Isn’t it time we make a change from non-essential plastic to sustainable alternatives?
Of course, we’re not suggesting that you should stop recycling plastic – all recycling is definitely a step in the right direction. But what we need to do is stop depending so heavily on non-essential plastic, and instead, help to prevent waste entirely.
The #RefillCyprus project negates damage caused by plastic, because we’re not sanctioning the use of plastic at all. Instead, we’re encouraging people to refill their own, reusable bottles: an effective way to stop depending so heavily on plastic, and instead, help to prevent waste entirely. So as well as helping the environment, you’ll be saving money by not continuously purchasing bottled water; it’s a win-win!
During the launch, which took place in the Dasoudi area of Limassol, Chairman of Let’s Make Cyprus Green, Eleni Kazelas, gave a speech about the new project and expressed her gratitude to everyone who had helped to make the initiative possible. This was followed by a speech from the Environmental Health Officer of the Yermasoyia Municipality, Timos Misseris, who also spoke on behalf of the mayor, Kyriakos Xidias, who, unfortunately, could not attend the event due to being in self-isolation.
Music was provided by ChoiceFM Radio and participants snacked on some delicious vegan food made by Plant-Based by Christina. The food was served on bamboo leaves to keep the event waste-free.
A demonstration then took place during which those in attendance learnt how the station dispenses clean, fresh water by way of a touch-free sensor, and participants were encouraged to fill up their reusable bottles. It was also noted that Let’s Make Cyprus Green has partnered with Limassol-based company EkoNest, to provide co-branded reusable bottles for the public. For every one of these bottles which is sold, €5 will be donated to the #RefillCyprus project.
Thank you to our sponsors
As we move into a better, more environmentally-friendly future thanks to initiatives such as the #RefillCyprus project, we’d like to extend a huge thank you both to the board of Let’s Make Cyprus Green for all the hard work they have put in to making this happen, and to our members for their continued support. We’d also like to express our gratitude to our sponsors, EkoNest, Squared Financial, and Sofinent Solutions for helping us with this undertaking, as well as those who donated to our crowdfunding campaign. And of course, we are immensely grateful to the Yermasoyia Municipality for their ongoing support in the maintenance and running of the station in cooperation with us.
Without the help of each and every one of you, we would not be able to celebrate this wonderful achievement. You are all very much appreciated and should be very proud of the wonderful gift you have helped to give to the local community.
The Yermasoyia Municipality will carry out a microbiological analysis of the water for this refill station on a monthly basis and a biochemical analysis every 6 to 12 months. In addition to these regular checks, and the cleaning of the station when required, Let’s Make Cyprus Green will be replacing the water filters (carbon block, sediment, and UV from Karma Water Filters) as needed.
We are currently working on reaching agreements with other municipalities to install more stations across the island, and thus help to boost Cyprus’ image worldwide. The Waste Law of 2011 (185 (1) / 2011) states that waste reduction should be the highest priority, and this project targets exactly that.
Please do help us tackle plastic pollution by:
- Donating to the #RefillCyprus project here on our website or via our crowdfunding campaign
- Use less plastic by discontinuing the use of bottled water
- Spreading the word about our #RefillCyprus campaign and refill station in Yermasoyia
- Becoming a member of our organization to help us continue our work. More info on this can be found here.
We encourage you all to reduce, reuse, and refill from here on out
Please note that we kept this event small and invite-only. All covid protocols were followed.