Recycling the Flotsam & Jetsam | November 6th, 2008

Rubbish is a problem the world over and particularly so in isolated islands like the Galapagos, but it is not just the rubbish that they produce themselves that is a problem, it is the rubbish that gets washed up on their beaches which may come from almost anywhere, but most likely from the waters off Peru and Chile, or from Panama.  But the problem is not just one of it being ugly to see pristine beaches covered in colourful plastic  bottles, fishing line, shoes, floats etc, but the threat that rubbish can pose to wildlife, which may ingest it or get tangled up in it.

To help counter this danger, the Fundacion Galapagos, a charity set up by one of the major tourism operators, is working with the Galapagos National Park and the Municipal Government of Santa Cruz to help get rid of the problem. Using underused fishing boats and volunteers, often from around the world, they are collecting as much as they can, at least from the accessible areas. Last year they collected over 11,000kg of rubbish. Where possible this goes into their recycling system.