In June 2018, the World Wildlife Fund reported that the millions of tourists visiting the Mediterranean every summer cause a 40% spike in plastic ending up in the ocean. Due to this, many islands have temporarily closed their beaches to allow the ecosystem to recover. The Philippines and Thailand are only two examples of that. Plastic pollution of beaches is a huge issue since 80% of all tourism takes place in coastal areas. In 2018, the WWF concluded that more than 12.2 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the world’s oceans each year.
But why is plastic so bad for our ecosystem?
“Plastic rubbish decomposes slowly and is often mistaken for food by marine animals such as dolphins, seals, puffins, turtles and fish. Plastic six-pack rings that hold cans together can enter the food chain ending up on our plates. When it is not causing havoc in the sea, plastic waste makes it back to the shore polluting everything in its wake.”, The Travel Magazine (2018) writes.
Did you know just how important the ocean is to our survival? According to WorldOceansDay.org: “The ocean is important because it generates most of the oxygen we breathe, helps feed us, regulates our climate, cleans the water we drink and offers a pharmacopoeia of medicines.”
And last but not least, here’s the shocking statement by WWF that should make all of us aware about how bad the situation is: “If we don’t act now, by 2050 there could be more plastic in the sea than fish.”
You can help reduce plastic pollution by booking a hotel on bookdifferent.com that takes part in the initiative Clean the World!
- UN Environment Programme (February 27, 2019). Paradise lost? Travel and tourism industry takes aim at plastic pollution but more action needed. https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/story/paradise-lost-travel-and-tourism-industry-takes-aim-plastic-pollution-more
- Livingston, S. (June 08, 2018). World Oceans Day: Tourists contribute 40% of plastic waste in the Mediterranean. The Travel Magazine. https://www.thetravelmagazine.net/world-oceans-day-tourists-plastic-waste-mediterranean.html