In celebration of World Environment Day, June 5, 2018, Easy Travel not only imagined an end to plastic pollution but they took the issue into their own hands in making Arusha the cleanest city in Tanzania. On this day, Easy Travel and the world came together to create mass awareness and celebrate World Environment Day.
What is World Environment Day?
Since 1974, the United Nations has organized World Environment Day to concentrate globally-agreed upon conservation measures into a unified challenge facing our commons: air, water, and land. Currently, over 100 countries celebrate this day each year, and teams mobilize around the world to tackle a particular issue.
This year’s issue? Beating plastic pollution.
Why Focus on Plastic?
Plastic pollution too often ends up in rivers that wash down to our oceans, with many negative consequences. Yes, we know: statistics can be paralyzing. Plastic data, in particular, is staggering, so we’ll keep it to five major facts on plastic pollution worldwide to get you up to speed:
1. 8 Billion Tonnes. A groundbreaking study recently came out to measure all of the plastic that exists in our world to date. The results were staggering. Over 8 billion metric tonnes (that’s 9 billion US tons) of virgin plastic have been produced since they were introduced in the 1950s. Whoa. (Source)
2. Most Common Plastic? Bottles. Almost 500 billion plastic bottles were sold worldwide in 2016 alone. Do that math, and that’s a million bottles purchased every minute around the world. (Source)
3. 500 Million Straws (Per Day). In the US, half a billion straws are used daily, enough to circle the world in straws twice. (Source)
4. More Plastic than Stars. Currently, there is more microplastic in our oceans than stars in the Milky Way. It’s that bad. (Source)
5. More Plastic than Fish. If we keep using plastic the way we do today, by 2050 there will be more plastic in our oceans, pound for pound, than fish. (Source)
Easy Travel Takes Action
Global environmental issues require global action, so to celebrate World Environment Day, Easy Travel took the lead on plastic cleanup in the safari capital of the world, Arusha – leading one of Tanzania’s largest efforts in cleaning up plastic waste.
On Sunday, June 3, 2018, 100 Easy Travel staff spent the full day on Mbauda Street, Arusha’s busiest avenue, to beat plastic pollution. The group of 100 staff, who work mainly as porters and guides on Mount Kilimanjaro, managed to fill 4 truck loads with plastic waste.
In total, the team collected 74,631 plastic bags and 16,206 plastic bottles.
“It was an amazing day!” said Musaddiq Gulamhussein, owner of Easy Travel. “Our team could not believe the amount of plastic we collected in such a short time.”
Ahead of the monumental cleanup, Easy Travel trained all 100 staff members on the larger issues of waste management and plastic pollution. With their training on worldwide plastic pollution and a focus on local Tanzanian consumption, Easy Travel staff actively engaged and educated the larger community about impacts of plastic use on the environment, and how they could reduce their plastic use.
Afterwards, all porters received a official certificate for their commitment and education.
“Protect Me and I will Protect You”
This effort by Easy Travel was to send a unified message on stopping plastic pollution, in line with the Tanzanian Government’s theme “Nitunze Nikutunze” – Protect Me and I Will Protect You.
“The staff understands how serious this issue is now,” said Gulamhussein, “and they are excited to educate their families, friends, neighbors, and porters from other companies. I am delighted to see such a positive attitude towards beating plastic pollution.”
“Being part of the tourism industry, our existence depends on a thriving natural environment. Our mission is to ensure we play a leading role as environmental stewards. It’s our Tanzania and our responsibility. That’s why we’re saying no to plastic, and yes to the planet.”
Easy Travel: Committed to the Environment
This initiative by Easy Travel follows efforts earlier this year to celebrate Earth Day 2018. Easy Travel owners joined their staff to clean one of Arusha’s busiest roadways from plastic waste.
Easy Travel’s tour packages depend on a clean, functioning planet. To keep our environment clean and clear of plastic waste is to promote sustainable ways of living in our communities. Easy Travel intends to continue its stewardship into the future, to be an industry leader in environmental responsibility for Tanzania, and for the world.