As Make Holidays Greener month begins today (1 July), new research* for ABTA reveals that almost two thirds (65%) of people who have visited the beach during a holiday said a clean beach is the most important part of their beach trip.
ABTA is reminding holidaymakers of the simple steps they can take to make their holiday greener and encouraging them to take care of their environment at home and abroad. Holidaymakers can support Make Holidays Greener month by taking part in the ‘Big Holiday Beach Clean 2016’. Already, 21 beach cleans have been conducted with an estimated 2,867kg of rubbish collected.
The research also revealed the most prolific litter seen on beaches with cigarette ends and plastic bottles topping the list.
Which of the following items have you seen left on the beach?
A third (32%) reported seeing dirty nappies and a quarter (24%) said they’d seen condoms left behind. When asked the worst items they’d seen on beaches, leftover bottles and dirty nappies topped the list.
What is the worst piece of litter you’ve seen on a beach?
Whilst nearly all (99%) people think it is their responsibility to take rubbish away from the beach, over seven in ten (72%) think rubbish is left on the beach as ‘people do not think it is their responsibility to take their rubbish away’. Almost half (44%) think there is rubbish on the beach as there are not enough bins and four in ten (40%) think people don't want to think about cleaning up when they're on holiday.
Nikki White, Director of Destinations & Sustainability, ABTA said, “As we head off on our summer holidays, I would remind holidaymakers of the importance of caring for their environment wherever they are in the world. Spending time on the beach should be a fun and relaxing part of a holiday and I’d encourage people to get involved however they can in July, whether that’s by taking part in a beach clean or simply by taking rubbish away at the end of the day.”
Make Holidays Greener month is being run with support from Travelife and The Travel Foundation. People can find out more about greener holidays and how to take part in a beach clean at makeholidaysgreener.org.uk and abta.com/traveltips
ABTA’s Top 10 tips for making your holidays greener:
1)When packing for your trip, remove all packaging from toiletries and cosmetics to reduce your impact in the holiday destination. If possible, bring home any new packaging after your holiday to dispose of properly at home. This is particularly important if you’re visiting an island, where recycling or landfill may be limited.
2)Take a re-useable water bottle and bags to the beach with you rather than relying on disposable plastic, which is a major source of pollution and damage to marine life.
3)Save energy by turning off your lights and electricity points in your hotel room when you leave.
4)Choose sensible souvenirs. Large numbers of animal products like corals, sponges and shells, are taken off the reef every year and sold to tourists as souvenirs and jewellery. Reef animals are already a gift – don’t buy them as presents.
5)Ask your tour operator how you can offset the emissions from your flight. Plus, consider using greener methods of transport such as hiring bikes, taxi pooling or renting a hybrid car whilst on holiday.
6)Be aware that some hot destinations may have a very high water shortage so think about reducing your water usage.
7)When bins at the beach are full or don’t exist, dispose of your rubbish back at the hotel or apartment. Also, ask your hotel about its recycling policy and give feedback about the facilities on the beach.
8)Always use an ashtray or dispose of cigarette butts properly.
9)Ask your hotel. Those that have a Travelife certification can give you great ideas on local experiences that have less impact.