Galapagos Islands ban more plastics

Posted on 1 August 2018

We despise the negative effect that plastic is having on our planet and its inhabitants.

We’re sure you share our sentiment, especially when confronted by harsh images of marine (and other) life that has suffered as a result of the plethora of unneccesay plastic in the environment.

An Iguana suns itself on a rock on one of the Galapagos islands. Image: Simon Matzinger

On a positive note, more and more countries are banning single-use plastics (come on South Africa, jump on the band wagon).

Earlier this year, The Galapagos Council  – which is responsible for the administration of the Ecuadorean province, made up of a archipelago of volcanic islands – announced a ban on plastic straws which came into effect on 26 May 2018, and plastic bags, from 26 July 2018.

Most recently, the Council has added that as of 26 February 2019, non-reusable plastic bottles will no longer be allowed on the islands.

Brian Young, Managing Director for EMEA, G Adventures, welcomed the move, saying plastics waste is at a critical level globally, and any move to reduce its usage is a positive step.

“As a responsible tour operator, we have more responsibility to protect our planet than ever before. At G Adventures, we already encourage all travellers to bring reusable water bottles with them on their trip, and are fortunate that with our office in Quito, it is logistically feasible to provide reusable water bottles to our travellers departing to the Galapagos.

“All our boats in the Galapagos are fitted with filtered water in refillable tanks, and hotels supplying accommodation for our land-based travellers will also offer this service. The Galapagos is one of the most eco-friendly destinations we travel to, and we’re very happy to support them in their continued mission to keep their waters clean,” says Young.


Charles Darwin Research Center on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos. Image: supplied.

As well as supporting the plastics ban in the Galapagos, G Adventures has a number of initiatives onboard its vessels around the world as part of the Ocean Health Fund initiative which was started in partnership with
G Adventures’ non-profit partner, Planeterra.

  • Filtered water is available onboard the G Expedition ship which visits the polar regions
  • There is no bottled water provided on our Sri Lanka Sailing catamaran – just reusable bottles.
  • Toiletries onboard our boats are provided in refillable containers to limit the use of small, one use, plastic containers.
  • Plastic straws are not used onboard any vessels.
  • Beach clean ups (for both guests and crew) have been organised in Svalbard for the past four years, as well as in Thailand, Cuba and Sri Lanka.
  • The G Expedition picks up drifting plastic and fishing lines whenever possible.
  • Additionally, G Adventures is a member of the United Nations Environment Program Clean Seas campaign, which challenges us to do more to support the health of our ocean.

G Adventures offers more than 30 different itineraries in the Galapagos Islands, with travellers choosing to either travel on one of the company’s four boats, or to move between the islands by speedboat and stay on land.

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