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The BBC documentary series Blue Planet and several other high profile media campaigns have recently shed a considerable amount of focus onto the topic of single-use plastic and recycling.
As tourism businesses and holiday homes are often located in some of the most outstanding and naturally beautiful places on the planet, how can we contribute to maintaining what’s around us and ensure we preserve the environment in which we live so that people can continue to enjoy it a long time into the future?
Single-use plastic – the statistics:
- There are approximately 500 billion plastic bags used worldwide each year.
- 50% of plastics are only used once before being thrown away.
- It can take between 20 – 1,000 years for a plastic bag to break up into small pieces.
- Every year 6.4 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the ocean – the equivalent of 3,200 kilometres of waste disposal lorries full with waste.
- If you joined all of the plastic bags in the ocean it would be long enough to circumnavigate the globe 4,200 times.
- Approximately 1 million sea birds die every year due to plastic in the sea.
So what can you do as a holiday homeowner?
Offering your guests reusable bottles…
Globally humans buy a million plastic bottles per minute; 91% of these are not recycled. Providing your guests with reusable bottles will make a real difference over a week’s stay. They can even be branded with your logo at a reasonably low cost.
Say no to plastic straws
Single-use plastic straws are bad news for our oceans; they’re dangerous for sea wildlife and just like a plastic bag, take many, many years to break down. By removing any from your holiday home you’ll be doing your bit to reduce the waste going into our seas.
Consider providing guests a bag for life
Since the plastic bag charge was introduced in England, there’s been a dramatic 85% drop in their use. This has led to a distinct change in the way people think and behave; a bag for life is certainly now no longer something for the minority. However, with so much to pack and think about when on holiday, some of your guests might leave their resuable bag at home. Thus increasing the chance of using single-use plastic carrier bags to fetch their daily items from the shops. Have you considered offering a non-plastic bag for life to your guests? Just like your reusable bottle this can be branded if you wish, and will stay with your guest a long time after they leave.
The good news is that microbeads, which are made from plastic and commonly found in cosmetic and personal care products, should now not be used, furthermore a full ban on their sale is due to come into force from July this year. If you provide your guests with face scrubs and other toiletries be sure to remove any with microbeads from your cottage, and always check that what you’re buying is environmentally responsible.
The #2minutebeachclean initiative encourages all of us to visit our local beach and clear some of the plastic waste. The hashtag, which has grown immensely since its inception in 2014 is now used around the world.
For more information about the two minute beach clean and how to get involved please read our earlier article:
This is just an overview of how holiday homeowners can reduce the single-use plastic used in holiday homes. If you have any tips or suggestions please leave them in the comments box below.
Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For information on how specialist insurance can help protect your holiday home business, give us a call on 01237 429444.