In common with many popular travel tourist destinations Cyprus welcomes holidaymakers with open arms, but with increasing environmental awareness is hoping to address any damage done while people visit.
The campaign to get Cyprus greener has started in Paphos, and aimed initially at those taking self catering holidays with Thomas Cook Holidays, who with the Travel Foundation launched the initiative.
A press release recently explained what they were doing and why:
A campaign to reduce plastic waste and help keep Paphos green has been launched by Thomas Cook UK & Ireland in collaboration with sustainable tourism charity, the Travel Foundation and the Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative. This summer, self-caterers enjoying Cyprus holidays with Thomas Cook will be given reusable cloth bags to use instead of plastic bags. Local hotels will also receive advice and guidance on how to minimise plastic waste.
The scheme has been designed to reduce the 2,000-plus tonnes of plastic bags that are used in Cyprus every year. Many of these bags and other plastic items end up in land-fill, where they slowly break down into smaller particles that can then contaminate the soil and waterways. The organisations hope to help protect the environment by reducing the amount of plastic used in the resort. To promote the initiative, those who use the bags when shopping will have the opportunity to enter a draw to win a voucher for GBP 200 off their next Thomas Cook holiday.
Hotel staff and guests will also receive advice on how to reduce plastic waste. The organisations have developed an in-depth plastic waste reduction programme, which will involve approximately eight hotels.
Andy Cooper, Director of Government and External Affairs at Thomas Cook, said: "We're delighted to be working with the Travel Foundation on a great cause which will go some way to protect the island's environment. With the support and involvement of customers, resort representatives, hoteliers and local businesses, we're hoping that this campaign will be a huge success."
Julie Middleton, the Travel Foundation's Industry Programmes Manager, said: 'By taking simple actions such as using cloth bags for shopping and reusing plastic bottles holiday makers can help keep Cyprus clean and green. With over 2 million tourists travelling to Cyprus every year, small changes made by individuals can have a significant impact on the environment. Selected supermarkets, hotels and self-catering properties in Paphos are supporting the campaign and we hope that local people will get involved too.'
All very encouraging for those who believe in global warming and want to do their bit for the environment.
And if it helps maintain Cyprus as a great holidays destination it's good news all round, and should help boost the island's prospects for 2011 Cyprus holidays and beyond.