Fight Against Plastic Pollution in Galapagos

AUTHOR Daniel Andino

Here at Ecoventura, we support the work that the Galapagos Conservation Trust (GCT) is doing to promote a plastic pollution-free Galapagos.

We started taking action to fight plastic pollution well before a single-use plastics ban in the Galapagos was announced in April of 2018. On early 2017, for example, we discontinued using plastic straws on our vessels in favor of paper.

Ecoventura encourages our guests to bring reusable water bottles on their trips, and we provide metallic water bottles to any travelers in need of them.  On both of our luxury vessels, the MV Origin and the newly-christened MV Theory, you will find acrylic water pitchers in each cabin that are refilled daily.

Additionally, our expert naturalist guides encourage guests to take any packaging back to the mainland, as opposed to leaving them behind in the fragile ecosystems we visit, while recycling is practiced on board our yachts that are well-equipped with containers for that purpose.

More recently, the GCT is seeking to increase awareness of these issues and obtain fundraising through travel proceeds. For those new to our initiatives, GCT’s plastics program aims to make the Galapagos “Plastic Pollution-Free” – an ambitious goal, to be sure. Even so, GCT, international scientists, and local government believe it to be possible.

Juvenile tiger shark swims among schools of fish near San Cristobal Isle.

In fact, the GCT has allocated ourselves just five years to make this dream a reality.  Our plastics work here in the Galapagos is a positive story and we are excited at the exposure it has garnered, both locally and abroad.  This year, the world-famous British publication, The Guardian, will be in the Galapagos with a drone survey team to make an informative and inspirational film about the challenges we face, and the work the GCT has done to combat plastics as ecological threats.

This follows on from ITV’s interest earlier this year, as well as the BBC, who have also made a short film on our efforts here in the Galapagos. See here to view this coverage, footage, and learn more about GCT’s plastics program.

Galapagos Tortoise on Santa Cruz Isle.

We are grateful and proud to know that many of our guests feel passionate about reducing plastic usage in this place of greatest natural worth. If you would like to get actively involved in supporting our plastics mitigation work here in Galapagos, there are many unique opportunities to do so, all needing funding.

To see more details and view a film on plastics in the Galapagos:

Swallow-Tail Gull perches on rock at Gardner Bay, Espanola Isle.

Steps Ecoventura is Taking Today to Reduce Plastics:

  • Ensuring passengers are aware of the bans before they travel, the worry about plastic litter, and its consequences to wildlife.
  • Giving passengers advice on their packing lists and thinking about replacing plastic items for their trip with non-plastic items (i.e. Such as cotton buds Q-tips and thinking about toiletries that do not contain micro-plastics).
  • Providing metallic water bottles to each passenger and encouraging them to fill these up at water stations on the vessels.  This often includes having to reassure the guests that all water on boats, in hotels, and at any water station they use is filtered and safe to consume.
  • Encouraging guests to be very aware of plastic during their trip and trying to find ways of increasing their awareness of issues, problems, and work being achieved in the Galapagos.
  • Making sure that use of plastic by the company is carefully considered, including recycling and keeping their own plastic use to a minimum, including giving reusable bottles to crew members and not using plastic envelopes when sending out literature (especially if this package might then be brought to the Galapagos).

Ecoventura is a corporate sponsor of Galapagos Conservation Trust and we support their initiatives through in-kind donations for fundraising events.