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Leave sand castles, not plastic! –  Naturefriends International gives tips to create less plastic waste in daily life and on holiday.

Ten million tons of plastic waste go into the oceans each year. Popular destinations, such as Mallorca, Turkey, Bali or the Maldives, fight against the plastic flood on their beaches. Pictures of sea animals killed by plastic waste dampen the joyful anticipation before the holiday. A big part of that plastic waste is being produced by the tourists themselves – not only sabotaging their own holiday but also damaging sensitive ecosystems. Naturefriends International launches a campaign on how to avoid plastic waste especially during the holidays.

Summer, sun – and plastic waste at the beach and in the sea. This is the harsh reality in many holiday destinations. Mallorca has to handle 500.000 tons of waste each year, in the Maldives the total comes up to an unthinkable 140 tons on a single day and Bali has started to use excavators to free their beaches from plastic. Most of plastic waste comes from the tourists. Especially disposable products, such as empty water bottles and plastic bags from shopping in the supermarket or in the gift shop end up on the beach and in the ocean.
The waste problem gets worse due to the inadequate waste management in many destinations. “The tourists often produce more plastic waste than the local population. Thus, it is the responsibility of the tourism industry to support the holiday destinations in setting up efficient waste and recycling systems – as well as reducing plastic waste where they can”, states tourism expert Cornelia Kühhas from Naturefriends International.
In addition, legal frameworks to contain the plastic flood are needed. Starting in 2019, the hotel and restaurant industry on the Balearic Islands will not be allowed to offer drinks in disposable plastic bottles anymore; plastic dishes and disposable plastic bags will be banned from shops. Furthermore, the EU Commission will step up the fight against plastic waste – another EU-wide ban of plastic items is planned.

Leave sand castles, not plastic.
Fundamentally important is also the behaviour of the consumers. “On holiday, many people suddenly forget their environmental awareness”, Cornelia Kühhas explains. In fact, most of us produce more waste on holiday than we do at home. Obvious concepts such as waste separation or not using disposable plastic bags are ignored. “It would be so easy to also take a bag with you when you go shopping during your holiday or take your refillable water bottle with you to the beach – this would already prevent a lot of waste!”

Everyone can help to reduce the plastic flood! Easy and practical tips for a holiday without tips for a holiday with less plastic waste and fascinating facts can be found on Naturefriends International’s Facebook page. Let us enjoy our holidays on clean beaches! 
Cornelia Kühhas
Naturefriends International, Public Relations 
Phone: +43 (0)1 89 23 877-41