How Plastic Pollution Is Drastically Changing the World’s Most Beautiful Places
Why do you travel?
To escape the busy clutter of your life? To experience pristine landscapes and natural beauty? To open your eyes to the wonderful planet we live on?
Picture your favourite place. Now, picture that place covered in plastic. If we don’t change our consumption habits and learn to travel smarter, the only thing we’ll have to look forward to when we travel is a trail of trash.
A new documentary, Wise Up To Plastic, uncovers some of the most devastating results of the plastic we throw away:
And it’s not just our environment and other animals being affected: According to CBC, a 2009-2011 report showed that 95% of Canadians aged 3 to 79 have measurable levels of BPA (a dangerous industrial chemical found in polycarbonate plastics) in their bodies. Children aged 3-11 had the highest average concentration of BPA, a chemical that’s been associated with potential negative health effects like breast and prostate cancer, ADHD and a wide range of developmental problems.
One Vancouver photographer faces the cold hard truth…
Vancouver-based photographer Jordan Dyck found out what it feels like to face the facts on pollution on a trip to the eastern coast of Australia with Contiki Storytellers, a group of nine like-minded young photographers and vloggers with a passion for sustainability. We sat down with Jordan to find out what it was like to pick up garbage from one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Tell me about your trip to Australia. What were you doing there?
We travelled to Australia’s eastern coast to understand the impact of plastic consumption on our planet. Our goal as a group was to tell the story of plastic pollution and how organizations like Contiki Cares and the Surfrider Foundation are working hard to bring awareness to this issue and to amplify a global mission to reduce ocean plastics and pollution.
As travellers, why should we care about plastics pollution?
Do you like dolphins? Do you like whales? Penguins? Even birds! Every year over a million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed from eating or being entangled in plastic floating in the ocean. I love surfing, and I love being in the water. When I’m sitting on my board and I look down, the last thing I want to see are bits of plastic debris floating by.
When you come face to face with the issue—which is an increasing reality for travellers and beachgoers worldwide—you realize that our use of plastic is much more frightening than we think. Really think about it: how many times a day do you use, and dispose of, plastic?
One of my favourite spots we visited was Coff’s Harbour. The vibe at the surf camp and the people that we met there were just out of this world. It’s this tiny little surf town, and we stayed in these beautiful cabins right on the beach. Watching the tide rise and fall with the sunset, drinks in hand—it was pretty remarkable. I want places like this to remain as magical for future generations as they are for me today.
What are your top 5 tips for how we can all travel more sustainably?
1. BYOB (bring your own bag). And if you forget? Carry your things home bag-less. Suck it up!
2. Reusable water bottles and coffee mugs—it’s easy! And they come in every colour and style imaginable.
3. Buy in bulk. Try to minimize the amount of plastic packaging your products come with. Be conscious of where your products are coming from.
4. Straws! You don’t need them.
5. If you do create waste, dispose of it properly!
Got #TravelGoals? Save money on your next trip!
Contiki is offering a special deal to Anew Traveller readers: for the next 8 weeks you can save on a new destination each week. This week? Save up to $970 on trips to Germany! Get your promo code here.