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Restaurants cafes and bars support Eco Kalkan initiative PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 07 April 2018

WSEK ProjectThere is a real focus on the environment in Kalkan this year.  Ideas and words on social media are being translated into action.

More people in Kalkan are recycling household waste. Click here to see how. Supermarkets have brought out reusable, eco friendly shopping bags as an alternative to single use plastic bags.  (Next year you will pay for bags in supermarkets).

Now Kalkan’s restaurants, cafes and bars are joining in by giving their backing to an initiative to recycle waste and to significantly reduce the levels of single us plastic.

This article tells you all about the initiative: it’s called “We Support Eco Kalkan” (WSEK).  We hope you will do your bit for the environment in Kalkan this year and support these businesses as they try to make a real difference.

We Support Eco Kalkan (WSEK)
WSEK is entirely voluntary but we are delighted to say that the majority of restaurants, cafes and bars in Kalkan are committed to doing this.  They recognise that not only is it good for the environment, it’s good for business too.  The official start date is 1st May 2018.

WSEK Project

Business owners have been signing up to a minimum of five eco-friendly standards from a list of ten.  These include things like separating recyclable waste, not using certain single use plastics, not giving out plastic straws in drinks, and reducing the number of plastic bottles they use.  There is also a standard on recycling used cooking oil.

You will know which businesses are doing this because they will have a “We Support Eco Kalkan” certificate like this displayed in their business premises.  We will be distributing these shortly.

WSEK Project

Also a full list of participating businesses will be shown on KTLN so you can see who is taking part.  (To be published on or before 1st May 2018).

Following the early adopters and raising the bar
We should point out that some businesses began their journey along an eco-friendly path before this initiative.  For example many restaurants already recycle cooking oil rather than pouring it down the drain.  Other eco “early adopters” are places like Korsan restaurant where they have already swapped plastic water bottles for glass bottles and plastic straws for paper straws, and The Junction which is pretty much plastic free and where you will find reusable stainless steel or bamboo straws.

These are great examples and the intention this year is for WSEK to raise the bar more widely across the food and drink sector in Kalkan.  If the initiative is successful it is hoped to extend it further in 2019.

Objectives of the WSEK initiative

  • To significantly increase the level of recycling for cardboard/paper, plastic, glass and metal waste.
  • To significantly reduce the level of single use plastics in Kalkan.
  • To encourage more businesses to dispose of used cooking oil using eco-friendly collection schemes.
  • To promote Kalkan as an eco-friendly holiday destination and attract more eco-aware visitors.
  • To build sufficient momentum and support to rollout WSEK to other types of business in subsequent years.

Send feedback to KTLNMonitoring compliance with standards
By 1st May 2018 participating businesses must begin to deliver on their promises.  There has to be an element of trust, however we will also check that standards are being maintained.

We will be asking customers (that’s you) to provide feedback on how well restaurants, cafes and bars are doing. 

The image shown left will appear on the KTLN home page.  You will be able to click on it to send your feedback to KTLN.  If we hear that a business is not keeping to their promise we will pop along and offer a few words of encouragement.

It is not our intention to have feedback displayed online.  There is no question of publicly ticking anyone off - that would be inappropriate and counter-productive.  We prefer to work discretely with businesses to encourage the right kind of behaviours. 

We want all types of feedback - not just where a business may be falling short.  If a business is going the extra mile and exceeding your expectations in terms of the environment we would like you to tell us about it.

Say no to plasticHow you can help
In addition to providing feedback via KTLN there are other ways you can support this initiative.

When you order food or drinks please make a point of saying you don’t want to be served any single use plastic (straws, stirrers, bottles etc).  #saynotoplastic

We would also ask you to express your support.  Let the restaurants know how much you appreciate their actions in tackling these environmental issues.  This kind of encouragement from customers is helpful because it will reinforce the message that what they are doing is important and valued.  

The customer is king
One business owner we spoke to recently told us “The customer is king”.  In other words, what the customer wants the customer gets.  From a business owner’s perspective this makes perfect sense.  They want to keep their customers happy.  Which is why we are asking you, the customer, to say unequivocally and consistently that what you want is NO PLASTIC. #saynotoplastic

We have also been told that sometimes a straw is essential and must be provided.  We disagree.  Even the youngest toddlers are quite capable of drinking liquid from a cup, it is only cultural convention that says straws are needed.  

Eco Kalkan TurtleAnd if someone really wants a straw the standards that have been drawn up allow for this, but importantly the onus is on the customer to ask for a straw - it should not be given automatically.  By making the customer ask for a straw we are challenging convention and making people think about the environmental consequences.  It should no longer be cool to use a straw.  It should be uncool.

Promoting the WSEK initiative

We will be promoting this eco-intiative on KTLN, and we hope it will get coverage on a social media.  The intention is also to ask Turkish media to come and take a look at what is going on in Kalkan, once the season is well and truly underway.

WSEK is supported by the Kaş Governor (Kaymakam) and also by Kaş Belediye who have been helpful in arranging a number of new recycling collection points in town.  We are grateful for their support.

In October there will be an end of season party where we will recognise the hard work of all those businesses who have taken part.  We will make a point of recognising high achievers - those businesses that have exceeded the minimum five standards and have gone the extra mile for the environment.  In deciding who these high achievers are we will be looking at the feedback that you have provided throughout the season, so your views really matter.

Patara dunesThe peroration: Keep Kalkan Special
Kalkan is a special place.  We need to keep it special.  Nestling as it does between two protected areas of outstanding natural beauty - Kekova/Üçağız and Patara Beach, we must surely recognise how fortunate we are.  And for anyone who pays the slightest attention to the news it must be obvious by now how fragile and endangered the world’s eco-systems are.  

WSEK is something new.  It won’t be perfect straight away.  We see it is a marathon not a sprint.  With a little patience and encouragement, by working together we know that it is possible to make a real difference.

All of us have a responsibility to do what we can to protect and preserve the environment.  Please give your full support to this project and let’s make Kalkan stand out as the most eco-friendly resort on the Turquoise Coast.

More details
If you want to find out more about the We Support Eco Kalkan (WSEK) initiative you can find details by clicking on this link: We Support Eco Kalkan project

If you have any practical eco-friendly ideas for Kalkan or if you have any suggestions as to how we can have more impact with this project please get in touch: Contact KTLN.

If you use Facebook please take a look at the Eco Kalkan Group page.

 

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Katie-Ellen

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Last Updated on Saturday, 07 April 2018