Open letter to the bottled water companies of Cyprus

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We are writing to ask what your company is doing to reduce single-use plastic packaging. More than 60 countries are introducing legislation aimed at reducing the use of plastic bags and other single-use plastic materials, including Cyprus.

However, the vast majority of all the plastic that has ever been produced globally has been released to the environment, with 12% incinerated, and 79% landfilled or released into the natural environment. It’s abundantly clear that recycling can only ever make a small dent in the rising quantities of plastics being produced. Therefore, more efforts should be made to towards putting alternatives to plastic to use.

As a non-profit organization committed to educating the public about the negative human impacts on the planet–particularly the harm done by excessive waste and the use of plastic, Let’s Make Cyprus Green strives to not only give of volunteer’s time in an effort to make our home of Cyprus green and beautiful, but also to encourage those willing to give heed to the call and approach a “greener” lifestyle with less adverse affect on our lovely island. Our activities include the collection and disposal of mixed waste at various sites throughout Cyprus. Among the waste found most often are plastics–particularly water bottles.

Plastic is one of the world’s most abundant pollutants because its chemical and physical properties–which make it extremely durable–also make it very hard to break down. While recycling efforts have been stepped up worldwide in recent years, plastic is very difficult and costly to recycle, and recycled plastic only has limited applications because the resulting material is weaker than the original. The plastic that doesn’t end up being recycled results in a huge pollutant in our environment, killing wildlife, and affecting the human food chain.

Furthermore, there is no country where all plastic packaging is effectively being recycled. Therefore, most plastic is dumped in landfills, burned in incinerators that emit greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants into the air, or littered into the environment. Even in Germany, which has one of the highest recycling rates in the world based on collection, more than 60% of all plastic waste is burned, and only 38% recycled.

 

Let’s Make Cyprus Green respectfully exhorts your company to use among the following alternatives to plastic bottles:

  • Aluminum cans made from 100 percent recycled materials should be your top choice when manufacturing single-serving beverages. Their low transportation footprint and ease of recyclability make them a winner.
  • Glass should be your pick if recycled cans are not an option. Glass bottles are made from relatively innocuous raw materials and are, like aluminium cans, completely recyclable.

Plastics were once seen as miraculous materials that catered perfectly to our culture of convenience–cheap, lightweight, easily mass-produced and simply thrown away after use. But now that we are seeing such disastrous and long-lasting effects on our very lands, water and food sources, change is necessary. We admonish your company to take part in paving the way for an eco-conscious solution that allows the public to continue enjoying your product, but cuts down on pollution and waste.

Sincerely,

Let’s Make Cyprus Green

Cyprus registered environmental NGO

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