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G Adventures welcomes Galapagos plastic ban

July 24, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

The Galapagos Islands is banning single-use plastics – going a lot further than the fashionable move against plastic drinking straws.

The ban spurred small-group adventure operator G Adventures to welcome the move and help travellers deal with it.

G Adventures will offer all its travellers a complimentary reusable water bottle for both sea- and land-based trips. departing from 1 January 2019. It has cimilar environmental initiatives in place in other parts of the world.

Earlier this year, the Galapagos Council announced a phase-out timetable to get rid of disposable plastics, which are endangering sea creatures worldwide.

Bans on plastic straws and single-use plastic bags have taken force there over the past few weeks. Next to be banned are:

  • 21 July 2018: polythene take-out containers
  • 21 August 2018: non returnable beverage containers

Ingrid Kocijan, director of sales for G Adventures Australia and New Zealand, welcomed the move, saying plastic waste had reached a critical level globally, and any move to reduce disposable plastic usage was a positive step.

“As a responsible tour operator we have more responsibility to protect our planet than ever before,” she said.

Blue-footed boobies on the Galapagos Islands

“At G Adventures, we already encourage all travellers to bring reusable water bottles with them on their trip, and are fortunate that with our office in Quito, it is logistically feasible to provide reusable water bottles to our travellers departing to the Galapagos.

“All our boats in the Galapagos are fitted with filtered water in refillable tanks, and hotels supplying accommodation for our land-based will also offer this service. The Galapagos is one of the most eco-friendly destinations we travel to, and we’re very happy to support them in their continued mission to keep their waters clean.”

G Adventures offers more than 30 different itineraries in the Galapagos Islands, with travellers choosing to either travel on one of the company’s four boats, or to move between the islands by speedboat and stay on land.

As well as supporting the plastics ban in the Galapagos, G Adventures has a number of initiatives aboard its vessels around the world as part of the Ocean Health Fund initiative, which was started in partnership with G Adventures’ non-profit partner, Planeterra.

  • Filtered water is available onboard the G Expedition ship which visits the polar regions
  • There is no bottled water provided on the operator’s Sri Lanka Sailing catamaran – just reusable bottles.
  • Toiletries onboard the opertor’s boats are provided in refillable containers to limit the use of small, one use, plastic containers.
  • Plastic straws are not used onboard any vessels.
  • Beach clean ups ( for both guests and crew) have been organised in Svalbard for the past four years, as well as in Thailand, Cuba and Sri Lanka.
  • The G Expedition picks up drifting plastic and fishing lines whenever possible.
  • Additionally, G Adventures is a member of the United Nations Environment Program Clean Seas campaign, which challenges us to do more to support the health of our ocean.

The Galapagos Islands are located almost 1000km off the west coast of Ecuador, and belong to that country. The archipelago became Ecuador’s first national park in 1959.

Charles Darwin first made the Galapagos famous when he discovered the unique wildlife and plants endemic to the area. His discovery became an important cornerstone in his theory of natural selection, origin of species and evolution.

Written by Peter Needham

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