Last year Croatia hit the headlines when holiday photos were published exposing the rubbish-strewn beaches of Vis. Previously known for being one of the most idyllic spot in Europe it was a big shock for everyone, but this is not a unique problem and one we can all help with.
Unfortunately, a remote island in Croatia isn’t the only place experience the tidal dumping of plastic detritus. Juhu Beach, in India, the Guanabara Bay Beaches in Brazil, Haina in the Dominican Republic and even Kamilo Beach in Hawaii have all been exposed on camera for having piles of plastic littering the sand.
It’s not just plastic either, shopping bags, crisp packets, plastic bottles, polystyrene, bottle tops, glass and ceramic are the most collected samples. With water pollution from factories almost irradicated, it is household rubbish, such as the debris collected from beaches, that now accounts for 60% of the pollutants in our seas and ultimately affects the water quality, marine life and our swimming areas. The European Environment Agency has published information with a handy interactive map to help travellers identify the safe areas, both saline and freshwater, to swim in, but this doesn’t tackle the problem at hand.
Plastic awareness is at the forefront of the news at the moment, and this issue is starting to have an influence on the travel trends of holidaymakers throughout the world. According to some sources in the UK alone, there are nearly 5 million tonnes of waste plastic washed up annually on our beaches, much of which now finds its way onto social media.
Travel companies are starting to turn this demand to their advantage. Holiday activities which can help the environment are available as part of the eco-friendly holiday experience. Beach cleaning is among the activities on offer. Diving excursions to clean up the ocean are another.
Alila Manggis, a resort in the northeast of Bali, was amongst the latest holiday destination to offer guests a “dive against debris” experience to gain knowledge of how to remove unwanted plastics safely from the warm waters that surround them.
According to figures from the holiday giants Booking.com, 86% of holidaymakers around the globe said they would partake in activities that involved offsetting the environmental impact of their holiday. A further 37% of these travellers admitted that they would be happy to take it one step further and help clean the litter off beaches.
If you are among the 37% of eco-aware holidaymakers willing to get down and dirty on the beach, then a handy mobile App can help enhance your holiday experience. Designed in Cornwall Tidal Revival rewards your good deeds by offering discounts for the plastic litter you collect on the beach. This holiday photo with a difference can be used to access offers available in participating shops, cafes, restaurants and other businesses. Although a bribe is not completely necessary for most beach cleaners, it is an excellent way to give a little back to travellers who are passionate about preserving the quality of both the water and beach experience.