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At Exodus we’re delighted that the world is waking up to the perils of plastic consumption. Thanks to advocates like David Attenborough on Blue Planets, the detrimental effects of single-use plastic on the planet are finally being understood, and we believe that the travel industry has had a huge role in influencing this global revolution.
Central to the Exodus ethos, we take every effort to tread as lightly on the environment as possible. So, over 2 years ago, we decided to ‘ban the bottle’ and work towards eradicating plastic water bottles from our trips.
We were aware that in many destinations, travellers had little option but to purchase multiple bottles of water to ensure they were drinking safe, clean water. We quickly realised this had to change. Working closely with our local partners, leaders and travellers we identified solutions to the reliance on plastic bottles.
Plastic waste on the beach
Nearly a million plastic beverage bottles are sold every minute around the world, and less than a fifth of all plastic is recycled globally according to statistics published by National Geographic. Clearly, this a problem that we can’t solve on our own. But we can take responsibility for our share.
Our hard work has finally paid off and we’re pleased to say that 98.56% of our small group trips offer an alternative to single use plastic bottles.
How have we achieved this?
The solutions have been as varied as the destinations themselves. In many countries, we now provide 20-litre reusable containers of drinking water so clients can top up their bottles throughout the day. In 2017, this initiative resulted in 65,000 fewer plastic bottles being consumed in Costa Rica, and a whopping 90,000 fewer being used in India.
“The free water everywhere was brilliant (including on the bus). I didn’t leave one plastic bottle in Costa Rica!’” – Exodus Traveller on our Discover Costa Rica trip.
We have been blown away by the response of our local partners. In Nicaragua, we now have a 20-gallon custom-built container that is fixed to the support vehicle on our cycling trips. A truly innovative approach!
In the Maldives, the boat we use has now swapped small single-use bottles for large reusable ones. This initiative has also been rolled out to sister boats ensuring the positive impact reaches further than the Exodus trips.
On our Nepal trekking trips, we now recommend the use of a Steripen, this allows clients to UV treat water themselves, and saves a huge amount of money in the process.
We are now challenging ourselves to go completely single-use plastic bottle free on all of our trips by the end of 2018. On average, each traveller will get through at least 3 of these a day.
Each bottle takes at least 500 years to decompose – but even then, they continue to exist in micro-plastic form. All you need to do to help us ban the bottle is check your trip notes and bring a reusable bottle when advised! It really is that easy.
“Providing water on bus and at hotels was extremely useful and cut down on waste bottles – you should adopt this on all trips” – Exodus Client on our Vietnam Adventure trip.
Plastic-free travel tips
Take a look at more of our tours below where we have reduced the use of plastic bottles.