Holiday Hypermarket admits it is ‘shocked’ at a new survey that reveals a staggering 2.7 million lilos were dumped by Brits while on holiday in 2018.
More than 2,000 UK holidaymakers were surveyed in January this year, and the startling statistics show that the discarded inflatables would be enough to build a bridge from London to the popular resort of Hurghada on Egypt’s Red Sea coast.
Company spokesman Craig Duncan said: ‘We were shocked to discover how many lilos are abandoned after holidays. Recent campaigns have raised awareness of the impact billions of bottles, straw and cigarette butts have on marine life, so now it’s time for British holidaymakers to think about the waste of using a lilo for just one holiday.’
Leftover lilos dumped by British holidaymakers would be enough to build a bridge from London to Hurghada in Egypt
The leftover lilos, averaging 1.88 metres in length, equate to nearly 3,300 miles’ worth of inflatables – and foreign hotels are being left to clean them up.
Anthony Garcia, who works at the Lanzarote Paradise in the Canary Islands, explained: ‘I think [lilos] are just badly made and they don’t tend to last long. They’re a bit of a waste, to be honest. If they were properly made and you could use them for longer, it might make more sense. It feels like they are just rubbishy plastic.’
The survey also revealed:
- 43% don’t care about being environmentally friendly while abroad
- 34% ditch their lilos after their holiday
- only 13% of these take their lilos home with them.
The survey comes at a time where charities such as The Ocean Conservancy and Sea Life Trust have been working to increase awareness of plastic waste, which has resulted in biodegradable alternatives to plastic straws and carrier bags. The results reveal that some UK holidaymakers are contributing to the plastic-waste problem.
We discussed the lilo waste issue with Jeanette Jiminez of the Allegro Isora in Tenerife. She said it was ‘awful’ that guests dump their inflatables at the hotel. Passionate about the issue, she said her advice to guests looking to buy a lilo is: ‘Don’t do it. But if you do, take it home so you can have it for your next holiday. The problem is that people buy inflatables, leave them here then go on another holiday and do the same thing. At least they could recycle them and use them again – but they don’t.’
By raising awareness of the number of lilos discarded each year, here are some tips for holidaymakers to help the planet while enjoying their time abroad:
1. Don’t buy before you fly
Before you head out on your perfect getaway, you may be tempted to buy your own inflatable. To reduce the amount of plastic being bought, head to your destination and see if lilos are already provided at the hotel or beach. By doing so, you will help the environment and cut down on costs.
2. Ask your hotel if there are any leftover lilos
The study discovered that 43% of people said they would use a free lilo service if offered by their hotel. Many holiday accommodations now store lilos that have been left behind; if your hotel doesn’t offer this, suggest it to them.
3. Educate your children on plastic pollution
Kids love to be involved – take the time to explain to your children why it is important to reduce plastic wastage and not buy a lilo. By involving them in the process, you can work together to find other ways to stay entertained at the pool.
4. Share your lilos with fellow holidaymakers
Once you’ve finished with your lilo, hand it to another family to enjoy. This means you can reduce the number of lilos being bought by holidaymakers – and share in the holiday fun.
5. Bring your lilo back to the UK or recycle it
Once you’ve finished using your lilo, take it back to the UK for next year’s adventure or send it to accessory specialist Wyatt & Jack. Using plastic waste to make fashionable tote bags, the company will arrange for either a courier to pick up your plastic or refund the postage costs – meaning that recycling is both cost- and hassle-free.
With millions of package holidays taken by Brits over the past 12 months, awareness is now more important than ever to protect the environment. Our study shows that UK package holidays contribute towards plastic waste abroad. Recycling and alternatives are the most effective ways to reduce this.
Love your lilo!