Tourist region bans plastic bottles

Filed in Waste News by on September 22, 2010 7 Comments
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Cinque Terre region of Italy bans the plastic bottle

Cinque Terre region of Italy bans the plastic bottle

One of our Facebook fans shared this inspiring story today. Just imagine if we did this across the world!

Visitors to the Cinque Terre region of Italy have been banned from carrying plastic bottles to stop the area being transformed into an ‘open air dustbin’.

Instead, tourists will have to pay one euro for a reusable metal flask that can be filled from water fountains in the area.

Officials claim that two million plastic bottles are left behind each year by the three million tourists who visit the region. Many of these fall down the cliffs and pollute the nine-mile long coastline.

Franco Bonanini, president of the Cinque Terre national park, said: “With so many visitors, the footpaths and villages of the Cinque Terre are at risk of being transformed into a great big open air dustbin.

“We are going to update the existing water fountains and install new ones… by the start of next spring, we hope to have liberated ourselves from this nightmare.”

He added: “To the three million tourists who come here every year, we ask them for a little bit of understanding, in order to save this paradise for the future.”

read the original story by Paul Johnston at Yahoo.


About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (7)

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  1. Ben says:

    I know litter is a problem just about everywhere, but I’m amazed that two-million bottles are being dumped there each year. I wonder if they have few or no litter bins?

  2. Jane says:

    Bravo! People on holiday behave differently to the way they behave at home as do younger generations who have have grown up in a throw-away society. Reduce Reduce Reduce. Why spoil your environment by cluttering it with masses of litter bins, bottle banks and collection vehicles when these are so unnecessary?

  3. Jane says:

    “‘Please take your Rubbish Home” used to be seen on signs on our coastal beauty spots. Why don’t people take responsibility for their rubbish?

  4. Julie Day says:

    Yay, well done Italy. I know that plastics left on beaches over here cause great trouble for sealife and birds. I remember when I was a child the water fountains in parks that I used to drink from. No longer there.

  5. Kate says:

    I’m not sure it’s especially younger people…at least here in the states it’s already a couple of generations old to use disposable everything, and now it feels like it’s on the upstarts to figure out how to undo that mess. Changing the existing culture is so hard. I wonder, is that’s only here? Somehow I don’t think so.

  6. Colleen says:

    I have stayed in Vernazza in the Cinque Terre twice before and am appalled with the fact that tourist or anyone for that matter leave litter lying around. It is hard to believe that the people interested enough to hike this beautiful area would then foul it up by leaving their trash along the way. I love the idea of the reusable metal drinking flasks and upgrading their water fountains. I also hope that means that they won’t be selling drinks in plastic bottle in the towns.
    I assume these 2 million bottles are not being put in bins and even if there aren’t bins provided I don’t understand why they can’t be carried until a bin is available. I suppose I just don’t understand littering. I can remember back in my childhood in Australia when they tightened the littering laws and had a big Stop Littering campaign. I can’t remember ever leaving litter anywhere but in a trash can ever in my life (I am now 45) and my children were taught the same values so I don’t understand how it came to this.
    I have actually just returned yesterday from a 4 week vacation in Italy and I was appalled by the amount of litter we saw everywhere even though a lot of places provide bins divided into four sections for glass, paper, plastics and waste. These bins were clearly marked in both Italian and English and yet when they were being used people were putting the wrong things in the wrong section. I suppose even in today’s world when waste is such a problem and we are constantly reminded of that through the media, people just don’t care. It makes me sad.
    If you ever stay in Roma (Rome) the Beehive ( is the place to stay. They are cheap, clean, friendly and ECO friendly. They even have a café on site that serves organic homemade vegetarian snacks and breakfast. Check them out.

  7. Mrs Green says:

    @Ben: I found that statistic shocking too Ben, but I wonder what they are for other areas. Perhaps it’s simply that we’ve never read a figure before?
    @Jane: ha, I remember the signs for taking home litter too. I wonder where they went to…
    @Julie Day: Yes, water fountains – I can’t remember the last time I saw one; probably when I was about 8 in a local park.
    @Kate: I’d say it was a worldwide problem in developed countries. Compare that to developing ones where everything is seen as a potential resource – we could learn a lot form that.
    @Colleen: Colleen thanks for your comments and for sharing your experiences. I have seen litter literally cms from bins over here. I don’t think it’s because the litter has missed the bin or the bin is full either. I find it so hard to comprehend. Even though I wasn’t ‘into reducing waste’ at all as a child, I never threw litter down (except perhaps apple cores) I always stuck it in my bag and took it home – it just seemed so ‘wrong’ to throw it on the floor… Like you, I find the whole thing very sad.

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