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Published on Thursday, April 25, 2019

Hand-luggage-only travel blamed for rise in plastic waste






Britons abandon 125 million items on holiday every year, 76 million of which are plastic, according to research by travel comparison site Kayak.co.uk.

Items deliberately left behind by holidaymakers include unfinished tubes of toothpaste, deodorant bottles, sun tan lotion and pool inflatables.

It found that families often buy items on holiday, such as pool toys, which they have no intention of taking home.

However, this means that someone else will have to dispose of their purchases, said Kayak.

It claimed that the growing trend of travelling light, without any check-in luggage, was partly to blame as air passengers can't take containers carrying more than 100ml of liquid into aircraft cabins. "Instead of buying often costly 'travel-sized' versions of their favourite toiletries, Brits are instead buying them on holiday and simply leaving them behind when the holiday has finished," it said.

Overall, it was found to be books that are the single item Brits leave behind most on holiday - likely to either reduce weight when flying home, or to give someone else the opportunity to enjoy them. Over a quarter of Brits (26%) leave at least one book behind each time they go on holiday, while 3% admit to leaving five or more behind on each trip.

Other items that Brits commonly leave behind are unfinished bottles of alcohol (13%/9.8m), clothes (11%/ 8.3m items), moisturiser (8%/ 6m items) and make-up (2%/1.5m items).

Kayak Europe MD John-Lee Saez said: "We often return from holiday with fewer items than we went with - either by accident or because we simply don't think we'll need them again. Whilst some items, such as books, may be used and appreciated, others - such as large, plastic pool inflatables or half-finished plastic bottles - are simply waste."

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  • Recycled in a useful way

    Half finished sun screen lotion, (not sun tan obviously) moisturiser etc that may be thrown in hotel room bins are not thrown away. They are kept aside by staff. Some hotels have a policy of collecting such items and giving them to anybody who can use them, such as a local charity shop, children's homes or watersports operators on the beach, or simply place them around their swimming pool area so that other guests can use them up. Of course this would be done with tamper proof and clean looking bottles only. Any plastic toys or other items will find their way out of the hotel one way or another and be sold or given to friends or relatives. I don't see why leaving plastic behind on holiday is a problem, after all the same items would be thrown away if people took them home, at least here somebody gets the benefit. Books in our area are hard to come by, apart from school text books we have no bookshop that sells novels, biographies or any other type of book. In the far away city books are very expensive, therefore any decent book is highly appreciated and would be passed on many times. The same used to apply to newspapers and magazines. If in good condition they would be sold on the street or beach. Nowadays we do not see that so much.

    By SELINA LUTJEBOER, Sunday, April 28, 2019

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