Plastic Pollution in Cabo San Lucas

Article by Niklas Manger

Last August with the hurricane John thousands of kilos of plastic were washed up on the shores of Cabo San Lucas. A big part of it came down from the inland, washed out through the floods in the mountains and rivers. 75% of land-based ocean plastic is from uncollected waste that makes its way to waterways reaching the ocean. Most of the trash found in the oceans are single used items- plastics that are used once and then thrown away- like plastic bags, straws, bottles or plates and cutlery. Especially these items are great danger for marine animals like turtles and whales, who mistake the trash for food or get entangled in it. At International Coastal Cleanups, volunteers have picked up more than half a million straws and stirrers, making straws one of the top ten items on our annual list. An item that is easily avoided and not mandatory to consume your drink. But removal is just part of the solution. We must prevent trash from reaching the oceans. Luckily a lot of restaurants and bars in Cabo San Lucas started to serve their drinks without straws and only give them out if costumers ask for it. This might just feel like a little thing, but it marks a start of changing behavior. People start to see the outcome of decades of dumping trash into the oceans.
Everyone can start making changes in their every day life. Take reusable bags shopping, buy yourself a reusable water bottle and bring your own boxes to pack take-away food. For this reason, we started our own project in CaboTrek to reduce our plastic footprint and be part of the change. We started to bring a gallon of water and reusable cups on our boats and introduced the project to our customers. We got great responses and people are loving our bamboo cups. And even better we cut down the usage of plastic bottles to almost nothing. We collect the few bottles that are used and store them until we can bring them to a recycling place in Cabo, which offers to take in recyclable trash once a month for free. This way we don’t only reduce our trash but also safe a lot on money.

We recommend to every tour operator to exchange their water bottles to reusable cups and refillable gallons. One easy step to become a more sustainable business.