Thousands of volunteers are expected to join this year’s annual Let’s Do It Cyprus clean-up campaign that will start on April 2, climaxing on Sunday April 7 with an official event at Athalassa Park.
Organisers include the Environment and Volunteerism Commissioner and the volunteers’ group Together Cyprus. Also taking part are local authorities, civil society and the business community. The aim is not only to help clean up the environment but to cultivate greater public awareness on environmental issues.
Organisers are hoping volunteers will turn out in large numbers — so far 42,500 volunteers and 370 groups have already registered.
Cyprus has been participating in the global campaign since 2012. In April 2018, more than 46,000 volunteers participated, ranking Cyprus among six countries of 120 countries that managed to volunteer 5% of the country’s population in this action.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday Environment Commissioner Ioanna Panayiotou said that it is important to raise public awareness for issues related to the protection, conservation and sustainable management of land and marine environment.
She pointed out that the engagement of the state, the local authorities, volunteer organisations and the business sector is essential. Panayiotou said that based on 2017 data by the European Commission, in Cyprus, urban waste generation is significantly higher than the EU average of 617 kg per resident per year, compared to an average of 475 kg in 2014.
She added that the majority of this waste ends in landfill (80% vs. 28% on average for the EU), while recycling accounts for 19%, including 4% of compost, significantly lower than the EU average (44%).
The Commissioner stressed that the European Union’s new targets raise the figure to 55% by 2025 and 65% by 2035 and noted that the prevention and reduction of waste production combined with the necessary increase in reuse and recycling could improve the efficiency of Cypriot economy resources, increase business opportunities and create jobs.
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