Monday, September 27, 2010

Italy starts banning plastic bottles to maintain the beautiful World Heritage Site of Cinque Terre

Visitors to Liguria’s famous Cinque Terre, a national park comprising stunningly beautiful coastline and five villages connected by a railway line, discard two million plastic bottles in the area’s countryside and on its beaches every year, reports the Telegraph.

Now Park Director Franco Bonanini has introduced a scheme whereby visitors will be asked to purchase reusable metal flasks which they will be able to fill from public fountains instead of carrying the plastic bottles.

The area’s mains water is said to be good and existing fountains will be renovated and new ones built. Visitors will be able to choose between chilled still water and chilled
fizzy water from the fountains.

Refuse collectors picked up 400,000 of the bottles in August alone this year and Mr Bonanini says that the area is becoming an open air dustbin. He accepts that local shopkeepers will not be happy with a ban on sales of bottled water but sees no alternative. He believes that the sacrifice in sales is worth making as if the area becomes even more polluted visitor numbers will diminish.

The Cinque Terre are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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