This year’s Make Holidays Greener (#greenerhols) campaign — an annual awareness raising campaign that celebrates greener holidays — is calling on holidaymakers and the travel industry worldwide to help make beaches plastic-free this July.
Jointly delivered this year by the charity “The Travel Foundation” and the international certification system “Travelife for Hotels & Accommodations”, the aim is for holidaymakers to reduce the amount of plastic they throw away on holiday and for tourism businesses to protect the beaches and seas that form a vital part of our holidays by joining in with the Big Holiday Beach Clean and organise beach clean ups worldwide.
Travelife, the international sustainability label for hotels, is championing the campaign with its 1,300 members, which are already taking action to improve their businesses through protecting the environment and supporting local people.
So far beach cleans have already been planned across Europe, and from Cambodia to the Caribbean. More than 60 percent of the organisations registering to take part so far are Travelife members.
“Travelife hotel members are already working to operate greener businesses and protect destinations for the future. This includes making sure beaches and other natural areas we love to visit are clean and beautiful”, Nikki White, Head of Destinations and Sustainability from Travelife, said.
According to VisitGreece, some 20 Greek hotels have already committed to dedicated beach cleans for the campaign.
Hotels that want to register a beach clean, can sign up here.
The 2015 campaign builds on last year’s success, which saw more than 100 organisations take part and 600 bags of rubbish collected from 97 beaches across the world. Travel businesses including Thomson, First Choice, Thomas Cook, Kuoni and Explore are supporting the campaign and beach cleans are being organised in holiday destinations around the world.
It is estimated that with 6.4m tonnes of litter entering the oceans each year, there are currently 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic floating in our oceans. From cigarette ends, shopping bags, to crisp packets and bottles, the waste is unsightly and causes damage to marine wildlife. And as plastic doesn’t biodegrade; tiny plastic ‘microparticles’ are entering our food chain.
Make Holidays Greener has created five top tips for consumers to reduce plastic on beaches. These are: Take reusable bags and bottles with you; avoid plastic straws; use an ashtray on the beach and don’t drop cigarette butts (they include plastic); remove packaging before you travel and avoid bathroom products that contain micro plastic particles such as some toothpastes and body wash.