Single use plastic and its damaging effects on the environment is a topic that has been hitting the headlines recently, especially the irreparable damage to our oceans and marine wildlife.
The statistics on single use plastic makes alarming reading, especially the fact that 50% of plastics are used just once before being thrown away; it takes between 20 and 1,000 years for plastic to break down; 6.4 million tonnes of plastic gets dumped into the ocean every year and approximately 1 million sea birds die every year due to plastic waste in our seas.
As the majority of holiday homes are in naturally beautiful and unspoilt areas, it is certainly in our best interests to maintain and preserve the environment which brings so many visitors to us every year and for future generations to be able to enjoy the natural beauty we so often take for granted.
Holiday home owners can help reduce the amount of plastic in use by making a few small changes that could have a big impact on reducing single use plastic:
- If you provide a welcome pack for your visitors which includes individual portions of milk and coffee, how about changing to a bottle of milk and a jar of coffee instead.
- Buying items such as toilet rolls in bulk will reduce the amount of plastic packaging used with these items too.
- And if you provide toiletries replace the disposable plastic containers with pretty reusable contained and fill them from a bulk supply of soap, shampoo etc. for each rental.
- The use of single use carrier bags has dropped significantly since the 5p charge was introduced in Wales and more recently in England. A ‘bag for life’ is now something most people use, however your holiday guests may not remember to bring theirs, so by providing some eco friendly bags in your holiday home for guests to use will help cut down on them having to buy plastic bags when out shopping. You could even have them branded with your holiday cottage details.
- By providing reusable bottles (again you can have these branded with your holiday cottage details) will encourage visitors to take water and drinks with them when out and about or on a picnic instead of buying drinks in plastic bottles which will then be thrown away.
- Encourage your visitors to take part in the popular #2minute beach clean – just 2 minutes spent picking up plastic from our beaches means less will go back into the water where it has a catastrophic effect on sea birds, marine wildlife and fish.
By making a few small changes you can have a big impact on helping to reduce the amount of single use plastic in your holiday home. And as eco tourism is gaining in popularity you will be doing your bit towards reducing the carbon footprint of your property.