The project runs from July 2020 until June 2023, with a total budget of EUR1,279,405,00. The six project partners participating in the project are Aspon Consulting Ltd as the Lead Partner (Cyprus), Heraklion Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Greece), Anelixis Development Consultants S.A. (Greece), Cellock Ltd (Cyprus), AIS Environment (Malta) and the Cyprus Hotel Association (Cyprus).
Specifically, from July through to September of this year, the partners have closely worked with the staff and clients of the 10 coastal tourist establishments in the three regions, to better understand and compare the current consumption and disposal behaviours of SUPs, via pilots. To do so, questionnaires have been disseminated to hotel management staff, contractors (e.g. waste managers) and clients. Interviews have also been undertaken with hotel management and staff, as well as monitoring and observation of hotel staff and client behaviour. The primary aim is to reduce the consumption, disposal and impacts of Single-Use Plastics (SUPs) in the tourism sector, in line with EU Directive 2019/904 on the reduction of the impacts of plastic products.
The results are currently being analysed in order to extract learnings and trends in behaviour in each region. A consolidated report will also be produced within this year to summarise the results of all three regions; Cyprus, Crete-Greece and Malta.
The primary project aim will be further achieved by using the bespoke free web-based decision-support tool (DST) that has also been developed as part of this project. The DST presents viable and available alternatives to the most commonly used SUPs, taking into consideration the cost and environmental impacts of each alternative across its life-cycle, to assist each tourist establishment during a pilot implementation period in phasing out and replacing SUPs.
The next steps of the project are for the pilot tourist establishments to use the DST to enter real life data on SUP being consumed and potential alternatives being considered in their hotels, in order to compare costs and environmental impacts that will facilitate decision-making. During this period, the tourist establishments will be fully supported by the partners on the usage of DST. Moreover, the tourist establishments are encouraged to provide suggestions to the project partners on potential improvements for the DST.
Following the completion of the DST pilot in each of the three regions, best practice 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 SUPs in the tourism and other sectors and what environmentally 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 for the replacement of SUPs.
The 10 tourist establishments of the pilot sample of the project per country are:
- Atlantica Mare Village Ayia Napa
- Radisson Blue Hotel
- The Royal Apollonia
- Greece – Crete:
- Elounda Palm Hotel & Suites
- Infinity Blue Boutique Hotel & Spa
- Enorme Lifestyle Beach Resort
- Hilton Malta
- 1926 Hotel & Spa
- Mellieha Holiday Centre