Top 10 tips

Top 10 ways to protect our beaches and seas

1. Organise a beach clean! Set up your own beach clean and get your staff and customers involved. If you don't sell beach holidays, why not organise a mountain or lake clean-up. Or ask your staff to collect at least three additional pieces of litter/plastics and put them in the correct bin. 

2. Raise awareness of the beach environment: Create beach activities for your customers, for example a beach treasure hunt; a sand sculpture or beach art competition; or a guided walk based on what's special about your beach, whether it's the longest beach in the area, is home to interesting wildlife, or has myths and legends associated with it.

3. Get staff involved. Ensure your staff understand what you are doing to protect seas and beaches and how they can help. If you have beach staff, train them to get involved and provide them with basic equipment e.g. litterpicks, gloves and waste bags.

4. Communicate with customers: Let customers know what you are doing and provide them with tips on how they can help. If you can, provide interpretation at beaches and in pre-departure or welcome packs to increase awareness and positive behaviours.

5. Reduce plastic waste: Plastic breaks down into small particles that are ingested by wildlife and contaminate the food chain. Disposable plastics, including bottles, bags and cups, are the main source of plastic pollution. Replace bottled water with drinking water dispensers and durable cups/bottles. Provide straws only when requested by guests. More ideas from our projects in Cyprus

6. Promote locally produced food and drink at the beach: This helps local businesses to thrive and can reduce negative impacts on the environment. You could work with beach businesses (e.g. hotels, bars, restaurants and beach management) to organise local food events on the beach, including traditional food to reflect the area, cooking demonstrations and tasting opportunities.

7. Protect turtles: Ensure you have guidelines in place to protect any known turtle nesting beaches. Learn more with our turtle protection tool.

8. Check your marine excursions: Ensure your marine operators abide by a code of conduct on marine life excursions, including avoidance of anchoring on reefs. Download our marine excursions handbook or, if you run whale shark tours, visit our whale shark training manual.

9. Reduce unsightly and unhealthy beach litter: If you own or manage a beach, ensure you provide enough bins and recycling facilities. Consider carefully how many bins you need and research the types, formats and volumes of litter throughout the year. A typical beach user will create about one litre of general waste per day.

10. Reduce cigarette butt litter: If you own or manage a beach, introduce smoking zones with signposting or ropes. Provide beach users with ashtrays, ideally made from sustainable materials. 

For more examples of how to create a cleaner, greener beach, read the Greening Cyprus Beaches case study.