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Columbia continues partnership for combatting coastal microplastics

(Posted on 09/06/23)

Columbia Shipmanagement Ltd. has reaffirmed its commitment to environmental sustainability through its ongoing partnership with the AKTI Project and Research Centre. The collaboration aims to address the pressing issue of coastal microplastics in the waters off the coast of Cyprus.

As a leading global ship management company, Columbia Shipmanagement recognises the urgent need to protect marine biodiversity and conserve the marine environment. The partnership with AKTI aligns perfectly with the company's sustainability strategy and goals.

In the first year of the research, conducted between July 2022 and March 2023, AKTI Project and Research Centre successfully collected and processed samples from the selected beaches. The results are eye-opening, revealing the extent of the microplastic problem. Up to 4000 microplastics, including pellets, fragments of various colours, and transparent films, were detected along the remote and touristic coasts of Cyprus.

Microplastics are considered as plastic particles with a size range of 5mm-1μm. Particles less than 1 μm are considered nanoplastics. The research implemented by AKTI Project and Research Centre focuses on microplastics only. Processing of the samples included sieving, floatation, and use of a microscope.

Andreas Hadjipetrou, Group Chief Commercial Officer, and Managing Director of Columbia Shipmanagement emphasised the company's commitment to local community engagement and its role in supporting initiatives that address the real needs and challenges faced by civil society. "Our partnership with AKTI and the valuable work they are doing aligns perfectly with our shared values and goals. By offering solutions that meet these needs, we can make a meaningful impact in preserving our oceans," said Mr. Hadjipetrou.

This ongoing research project serves as a crucial step towards developing effective policies and strategies to combat plastic pollution off the coasts of Cyprus. By analysing the abundance and types of microplastics found, the project will provide valuable insights to guide future initiatives aimed at protecting the marine environment.

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