No tourist wants to see piles of rubbish at a scenic spot, and yet travelling often seems to involve a lot of single-use plastic items.
There are ways you can cut back on those small articles, however, even if they seem like the most hygienic option, like the little shampoo bottles to pop in your travel bag.
The trouble with the smaller items is that they are usually disposable. People buy them, use up the contents quickly, then throw them away, says Martina von Münchhausen from World Wide Fund for Nature or WWF.
At the same time, waste management at holiday destinations is often poor, with little plastic being separated for recycling. Experts also believe that even in highly modernised cities, plastic recycling levels are limited and that much plastic still ends up in landfills or being burnt to generate power.
So instead of using disposable plastic items, von Münchhausen suggests filling up plastic bottles before you go away and then bringing them back home and reusing them on your the next holiday. You can buy empty containers for soaps, creams and cosmetics in different sizes in many drugstores, for example.
You can go a step further and get some plastic-free alternatives, she says, suggesting bars of soap and solid shampoo. These also come with a smaller carbon footprint as they weigh less and take up less space during shipping than larger bottles of shampoo and shower gel. – dpa