Lidl Cyprus' cooperation with AKTI began in the autumn of 2021, with the aim of taking action against plastic pollution, which is one of the biggest threats to coastal and marine ecosystems.
Within the framework of the cooperation, AKTI, funded by Lidl Cyprus, informed school students about the problems of marine plastic pollution, about microplastics that threaten our health as well as about the ways in which they can react as active citizens.
A total of 1560 students throughout Cyprus participated in the program.
At the same time, AKTI’s scientific team carried out the first microplastics detection study in collaboration with the Department of Civil Engineering of the University of Cyprus, at four locations:
• Olympia Coast in Limassol
• Fig tree Bay in Protaras
• Lara in Akamas and
• at the mouth of the Liopetri river in Famagusta
In combination with the research, meetings were also held with fishermen in order to inform them about ‘ghost nets’ and to address the problem through joint actions.
After the informational sessions in schools and the conclusion of the research, a coordinated coastal clean-up was organised at Ayios Georgios in Pegeia with the help of different volunteer groups. The clean-up also took place underwater through the help of volunteers from the CyDive organisation and the Municipality of Pegeia. Participants in the event were welcomed by the Mayor of Pegeia, Marinos Lambrou, who welcomed the effort and wished for less pollution of the seas and coasts once the specific campaign was completed.
Dr. Xenia Loizidou, Chairman of the Board of Directors of AKTI, stated that «for the first time in Cyprus, microplastics were detected with field measurements, and we have collected the first results according to which there seems to be a big problem with microplastics which are not visible to the ‘eye’. On remote coasts, there seems to be more than 7% of microplastics on surface sediments."
Closing the event, Fotini Pallikaridou, Corporate Communications Manager of Lidl Cyprus, stated that "for Lidl Cyprus, research support as well as underwater and coastal clean-up operations are part of the REset Plastic, the international strategy of the Schwarz Group for plastics, in which Lidl Cyprus also participates, and specifically in the action fields REmove, REduce and REcycle."
This was followed by the separation of elements collected from the joint effort, based on the European MFSD Protocol. A total of 1 ton of marine litter was recorded, of which 70% was plastic and will be registered in the international database for marine litter ‘Ocean Conservancy’.
Lidl Cyprus' cooperation with the AKTI Project and Research Centre focuses on the prospect of development with a central message: we must save natural resources, recycle consistently, limit the reckless use of plastic and produce in terms of a circular economy, in order to change our daily lives towards the better, in sustainable terms and with quality of life at the centre of all our social activities. Thus, information and research efforts can become our guide on the road to a better tomorrow.
Watch the campaign video here