One bottle at a time
Reducing our plastic usage across Asia
Tap water in Asia is not always reliable, and bottled water is the common solution, but it does result in a lot of plastic waste. In 2017, Annie set us the challenge of reducing our plastic water bottle waste in Asia by 50%* in 2019 (and increasing that to 75% in 2020). Never one to shirk a challenge, and longtime advocates of better refuse and recycling practices in the region (our guides have actively promoted the cause on their shirts since 2009), we have set about changing the way we operate.
Plastic pollution is one of the most unnecessary threats facing our environment. At Selective Asia HQ, we all do our bit to be plastic conscious, recycling and reusing wherever possible. We’re also keen to tackle unnecessary plastic waste in the countries that we operate in.
To meet Annie’s challenge, we must tackle our two main sources of plastic bottles - the drinking water that you'll obtain for yourself while you’re on holiday, as well as the water we provide in our vehicles.
No one likes seeing a plastic bag bobbing next to them in the sea, or a bottle wash up on the shore… Nobody likes to drink plastic, either - a recent survey found microplastics in over 130 samples of tap water from around the world. The good news is that as individuals we can all do our bit to combat this, and to protect the environments that we love to travel in.
When travelling in Asia, it is important that you have regular access to safe and clean drinking water, but now more than ever it is important that drinking clean water doesn’t have a negative impact on the country that you are travelling in, and protects the water source for future generations.
10th Dec 2018 update: 9000 plastic bottles not provided to our clients in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos (since project launch in April 2018). We are aiming for 45,000 bottles in 2019!. We are now talking to other like-minded travel businesses about them joining us in the fight against plastics. The initial response has been very encouraging. Watch this space!
07th Sept 2018 update: Malaysia, Borneo, Myanmar & Sri Lanka on schedule to go live in December 2018/January 2019
10th June update: Now reducing plastic waste in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia.
And in the meantime......
While we work on getting our exciting new project underway in the various destinations not listed above, we recommend our clients travel with a reusable water bottle - the best we have tried and tested is the ‘Water-to-Go’ bottle. The filter has been independently tested against internationally recognised standards by industry specialists in the USA, Europe and India; all have confirmed that the filters eliminate over 99.9% of harmful contaminants in water, meaning that you can safely fill your water bottle with any water source (apart from salt water!) and drink safe water everywhere you go.
The Selective Asia team have been using the bottles throughout Asia, and we would love you to do the same. Every client that books with us will receive 15% discount off any Water-to-Go bottle and we will also donate a further 15% of the cost of the bottle to Water.org - a charity dedicated to clean drinking water and sanitation to comminities around the world. Please ask for the special discount code once you have booked.