It has been over 15 years since my first trip to Isla Holbox. This fabulous little island has the ambiance we, as travelers all look for; a getaway seeking a simpler life and time. However, as we have seen as time marches on that island life grows just like any other part of the world. And Isla Holbox is no stranger to the challenges and environmental dangers of plastics.
The good news is Isla Holbox is the first island within the Protected Natural area of Mexico to ban single-use plastics.
What are single-use plastics?
Single-use plastics, or disposable plastics, are used only once before they are thrown away or recycled. These items are things like plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, soda, and water bottles and most food packaging.
Bet you didn’t know
During high season, the island can become home to as many as 5,000 people, who every day, generate up to 20 tons of garbage. For each ton of waste, 89 kilos are different types of plastics.
5 things you can do to help
- Skip the plastic to-go cup. You are on vacation, sit down and enjoy your coffee, juice or adult beverage and ask that it be served in a glass.
- Avoid the 6-pack plastic rings. Buying cold cervezas? Buy only bottled beer that is in a paper box-style 6-pack packaging. 6-pack plastic rings, which can hurt not only the sea life but land-loving animals as well can get tangled up in them.
- Buy or bring a reusable bag. Don’t accept your purchases to be put into plastic bags. Plastic bags affect marine life in different ways and have already led to the death of hundreds of thousands of marine animals according to Ocean Plastic.
- Buying a locally made reusable bag can not only come in handy when going to the vegetable market, or shopping in the grocery store but it can make a nice souvenir.
- Give up the plastic water bottle. Buy a stainless steel or reusable bottle while on vacation or bring it from home. Fill it up from your garafon (the big water bottle in your condo or villa vacation rentals).
- Skip the Straw. Few people realize that straws are among the top 10 items found during beach cleanups and can do so much harm to seabirds, turtles and other marine creatures.
If you doubt the effects straws can have on the environment watch this video below.