Join us in beating plastic pollution at World Heritage sites. If you plan to visit one of the 1073 World Heritage sites this year, help contribute to protecting the site by not using single-use plastic. 50% of consumer plastics are designed to be used only once, and nearly one third of the plastics we do use escape our collection systems. Once they’re in the environment, plastics don’t go away—they just get smaller and smaller, and increasingly find their way into our food chain, into our water and onto our plates.

As much as 80% of tourism relates to coastal areas, and marine pollution now includes an average of 13,000 pieces of plastic litter on every square kilometre of ocean. Up to 90% of seabirds are found to have plastic in their bellies.

So for plastic water bottles, cups, bags, food containers, cutlery, and straws—replace them with a re-usable version and help make a change today. Bring your own cloth bag, stainless-steel water bottle, bamboo cutlery, or paper straws. To protect our heritage, we need to be good tourists.

Change starts with each of us. Join the global game of #BeatPlasticPollution tag, or learn how to join or organize a cleanup:

To learn more about plastics in the ocean, see this infographic from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Mechtild Rössler
UNESCO World Heritage Centre