Last week, I returned from a 2 week holiday in Crete. I had a great break, however, during my holiday I was aware of the environmental impact and waste being created (this is what happens when you work at an environmental consultancy for many years!). Back at home, I recycle everything that I can possibly recycle, so I was disappointed to have to throw recyclable materials away during my 2 week stay in Hersonissos and the surrounding area, having spotted just 2 recycling banks during this time and not at times when I needed them. In the defence of Hersonissos, it may be down to me not knowing what I was looking for, or where the banks were located. Doing some research, it seems that Greece is not very big on recycling and waste management. According to reports, Greece is amongst the worst EU countries for recycling. During my research, I also found the following website, which goes in to more detail on Crete’s environmental issues from a personal point-of-view.
Doing our best to stay hydrated, my friends and I got through countless plastic bottles of water and soft drinks. Unfortunately, due to the lack of recycling facilities, all of these bottles ended up in waste bins. Any bottles finished back at our hotel were left out, separate from our other waste, in hope that housekeeping and our hotel would recycle the plastic bottles. I can only hope that the general waste is sorted and recyclable materials are separated and recycled, though my research findings do not look promising.
Leaving stuff behind…
In an attempt to stay within our luggage allowance, my friends and I left some things behind, mainly toiletries. The majority of these were unfinished, some with quite a lot left. Whilst some of the products were of minimal value, others were more expensive, but my main issue was creating unnecessary waste with products that could still be used. I shared my sun lotion, cleanser, antiperspirant and perfume around my friends, before leaving the products on the shelf in the hotel toilets, in hope that others may make use of them. It appeared that someone else had the same idea, as there were a couple of products there already.
Having said this about waste, I must say that Hersonissos is a very clean place. So despite the lack of recycling facilities, I did not notice any litter on the streets. I would recommend Hersonissos and can’t wait to return there next summer!
For most people, carbon footprint is not something to worry about when on holiday, but I think it is important to consider.
Do you think about the environment and recycle on holiday?
Information on waste and recycling within the UK can be found on our WasteConnect website.
Blog post by Zoe Heath