09 MAY, 2019


Picture this: you’re in Boracay, fine white sand between your toes, the sun shining bright in the sky, and crystal clear waters lightly lapping the shore. Then you look down at your feet and you see black plastic trash bag caught between your feet. Plastic is one of the most persistent environmental problem all over the world. If you’re asking how can we reduce plastic waste while traveling, then you should take the #BoracayChallange.

It’s simple and it’s a challenge you should encourage all your friends and family to take, not just in Boracay. If you plan your vacation perfectly, this should be an easy one for you. You have to be as eco-friendly as you can wherever you are. If you want to know how to get a head start and what exactly you need to pack, switch out your standard beach travel essentials and form new eco-friendly habits with these plastic alternatives that you should have in your plastic free travel kit.

Reusable cloth bags for your trash and belongings

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Ho via Pexels.com

One of the best alternatives to plastic are reusable cloth bags. You can reduce your plastic footprint by using cloth bags instead of the standard black plastic bags for your trash and other belongings. If you want to know how to reduce plastic pollution, you can walk the length of the beach and pick up the plastic trash you see on the beach left by other people or those that washed up on shore. If you’ve done your research, you know where the nearest trash bins are for biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste.

When you buy your beach snacks from a grocery, or what you brought from your hotel, let the cashier know that you brought a reusable bag.

Bamboo or wooden utensils

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A simple way you can reduce your plastic footprint is to use plastic free utensils. Whenever you have take-out meals at the beach, chances are you’ll be given plastic utensils with your meal. Bamboo or wooden utensils cut down on the amount of plastic you would have had to throw away if you used plastic utensils. If you are having trouble looking for eco-friendly and reusable utensils in your area, you can check out Sip. They sell reusable utensils and other eco-friendly products online.

Make it a habit to bring these utensils wherever you go. This way you can continue being plastic-free even when you’re not in Boracay. Always have reusable utensils in your plastic free travel kit.

Metal or bamboo straws

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Another plastic alternative that you need to include in your plastic free travel kit are metal or bamboo straws. Plastic straws are dangerous to marine life. Turtles, fish, and even seabirds swallow straws mistake it as food. Whales have also been shown to disgorge plastic waste including straws.

Be part of the solution of eliminating plastics and stay clear of plastic straws. If you order a drink near the beach, use your metal or bamboo straw so you can enjoy plastic-free travel. Check out the bamboo and metal straws from EcoShopPh if you’re looking to add reusable straws to your plastic free travel kit.

Reusable water bottle

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One of the worst sights at the beach is plastic bottles on the shore or floating in the ocean while you’re enjoying a swim in the warm Boracay waters. An easy way you can help reduce plastic waste while staying hydrated is by bringing your reusable water bottle to the beach. You can use double-layered metal bottles that keep your water cold for hours. Local brands like the Bamboo Company is one of the top sellers of eco-friendly reusable water bottles. You should check them out if you don’t have a reusable water bottle yet.

Resorts like Alta Vista De Boracay offer free water to its guests. You can ask the staff to fill your reusable water bottle before heading out to the beach so you don’t have to buy plastic bottled water whenever you get thirsty.

100% cotton beach towels

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The fibers of beach towels will eventually start to unravel, leaving them on the beach near the shore. The waves will pick up these fibers and carry them out to sea adding more plastic to the ocean.

Most beach towels are made with a blend of cotton and polyester to make them more affordable. The problem is that polyester is a common type of plastic. Whenever you need to buy a beach towel make sure you purchase 100% cotton beach towels. If your goal is to travel without plastic, always buy 100% cotton towels.

Sustainable food containers

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Styrofoam food containers are a ubiquitous sight at beachside take-out spots. An alternative to plastic styrofoam is eco-friendly glass containers that you bring with you. Pair your reusable food containers with your reusable utensils whenever you order some take-out from the many food spots in Boracay. A popular reusable container brand, Lock & Lock has all your reasonable container needs for your Boracay eco traveling.

Take this even further by bringing your reusable food container on all your future travel adventures and at the office—every little thing you do to travel plastic-free counts.

Share your eco-friendly beach items

The age-old line, “Sharing is caring” is perfect for unconventional ways on how we can reduce plastic waste while traveling. How? By just not buying anything that you all can share with your friends and family while traveling. Instead of having multiple small reusable water bottles, you can have one big container for everyone to share.

When you share your reusable beach essentials like sunscreen, shampoo and body wash, you reduce the chances of your friends and family buying the same goods.

Traveling without plastic shouldn’t be the end goal of the #BoracayChallenge. The real goal is to use plastic alternatives wherever you are. Make #BoracayChallenge viral and encourage everyone to have their own plastic-free travel kit. Remember that it’s what you do every day and not just when you’re traveling that matters when it comes to answering the question, “How to reduce plastic pollution?”