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While tourism enhances the economy of the Mediterranean region, it also brings with it challenges such as those related to waste generation and management. Local authorities often find it difficult to cope with the resulting waste generation and littering, especially during the high season.    

The BLUEISLANDS project, which ran from November 2016 to April 2020, looked at ways to identify, address and mitigate the effect of the seasonal variation of waste generated on Mediterranean islands as an effect of tourism.   

This project consisted of three different phases. The first phase involved assessing the seasonal dynamics of marine litter in three beaches. For this phase of the project, WasteServ chose to carry out marine litter surveys at Golden Bay (being a highly touristic beach), Ġnejna Bay (a locally popular beach) and Ballut ta’ Marsaxlokk, a less-frequented beach. Surveys were carried out in summer 2017 and again two years later in summer 2019. Results revealed cigarette butts to be the most commonly dumped items on all beaches. The second phase of the project consisted of testing. This stage was split into three steps aimed at defining, implementing and assessing the pilot activities involving a series of actions implemented with the purpose of reducing the amount of litter and organic waste related to tourism and recreational activities on the beaches.  

WasteServ carried out awareness-raising and informative activities through various media at different levels. This was accompanied by an online campaign and advertisements. The key messages were about the need to understand the threats and impacts of litter to coastal marine ecosystems and marine life; changing consumer habits and the adoption of sustainable behaviours to prevent litter, organic waste and anthropogenic nutrients from entering the environment; as well as an embrace of the circular economy approach and the reduction of single-use items. As a result of this, a decrease of 53.5% in cigarette butts left at Golden Bay and a decrease of 47.8% in cigarette butts left at Ġnejna Bay were recorded.

During the final phase of the project, BLUEISLANDS worked hard to facilitate the exchange of knowledge among the project partners and external stakeholders. For this reason, a waste management handbook was created, with factsheets about good practices and innovations implemented in the partners’ territories and directly contributing to empower the islands’ stakeholder communities. The handbook proposes and showcases existing practical solutions to be implemented by public authorities and/or professionals in order to deal with waste management issues.   

This project was co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and was implemented in partnership with the following European organisations:

  • Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment - Department of Environment, Cyprus (Lead Partner) 
  • Rhodes Municipality, Greece 
  • Region of Crete - Directorate of Environment and Spatial Planning, Greece Municipality of Mykonos, Greece 
  • Network of the Insular CCI of the European Union, Greece 
  • Primorje and Gorski Kotar County, Croatia 
  • Taormina Etna Consortium, Italy 
  • Sardinia Region - VET Department, Italy 
  • EA Eco-Entreprises, France 
  • Autonomous University of Barcelona – Institute of Environmental Science and Technology, Spain 
  • National Inter-University Consortium for Marine Sciences, Italy 
  • Association of Cities and Regions for sustainable Resource Management, Belgium 
  • Council of Mallorca – Environment Department, Spain

For more information on the Project, kindly visit the BLUEISLANDS website.

See the results of the project in this video.

Last updated on 07/10/2020

WasteServ Malta Ltd
ECOHIVE Complex, Tul il-Kosta, Naxxar NXR9030

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