Hotels Need to Do More for Recycling

Want to reduce carbon footprints, reduce the cost of a holiday and help preserve resources for future generations? Then why not give a hand to this Facebook page (Recycle Point) to encourage the tourism industry to do more than pay lip service to green credentials.

On a recent holiday to Greece I noticed between my hotel and the beach that people were putting news newspapers and children’s toys on the wall and weighing them down with stones.

A waiter at the nearby beachside bar told me that meant they were finished with by the previous owner, and available for free should anyone want to acquire them.

As somebody who every year when I go on a beach holiday buys a bucket and spade all games for the kids, only to have them discarded in the room as I leave, it seemed like a great idea.

This year thanks to the unofficial recycling point, we got a bucket and spade for free, plus an air mattress and a board game all of which somebody else had decided they could not fit in their luggage. We also purchased a couple of buoyancy aids ourselves, and when we left returned everything where we had found it together with our new acquisitions for the next person to take.

Allowing holidaymakers to recycle things they are not going to take back home with them or to acquire things that they were not able to bring with them from abroad in already packed suitcases, worsening the carbon footprint, is a great idea.

The beach we were staying had billboards up paying what to me seemed like lip service to keeping beaches clean and environmentally responsible given the complete absence of any sort of recycling initiative.

There were info boards explaining what the blue Flag scheme was and the green key scheme as well, both claiming the environment was at the heart of what they do.

Yet none of them mentioned the need for participating hotels to include recycling points for the things the guests no longer wanted to take with them.

I tried to speak to the hotel about making the collection point something official, putting up a poster letting people know that they can leave things or pick things up. But they were not interested. It was simply something people did, and it was impossible to pin somebody down about this important issue.

Hence I started this Facebook page which if it gets shared enough and enough people get involved could make recycling in the tourism business a valuable part of saving scarce resources on the planet.

Because of the need to make the message clear in so many languages, we created this emoji in different colours to indicate the different colours of plastic you get in a typical bucket and spade, and to let people know that anything in the box containing the symbol is free to take.

Please help by asking your hotel if they have a recycling point for books and magazines, suncream, unopened food and drink or children’s toys and help make a contribution to movement that can make a difference, and should be an integral part of any true ecotourism initiative.

Please share this article, and like this Facebook page, and next time you are staying in a hotel after they have a recycling point and make them aware of this project.

Feel free to post the names of those with or without recycling points and maybe include a picture to promote those that do, and put pressure on those that don’t.