- This initiative benefited from the collaboration of "Zero Waste Los Cabos", a project created by a group of women in order to contribute and support positive environmental changes
RIU Hotels & Resorts has joined the "Zero Waste Los Cabos" programme by organising a clean-up squad who collected 800 kilos of rubbish from Arroyo Seco in Baja California. Collaborators from all the departments of the Riu Palace Baja California, Riu Santa Fe and Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas hotels participated in the initiative. The purpose of this environmental action is to prevent the waste that has gathered in the river from reaching the sea in the rainy season, as this would pollute the area’s ecosystem.
One morning, 155 colleagues from the entertainment, housekeeping, maintenance, bar and dining departments travelled to the Arroyo Seco bridge in Los Cabos where they spent several hours clearing the large amount of waste that had gathered there over several months. To do this, they used several RIU vehicles that started the day by delivering water and supplies to the team and, when the work was done, they were loaded up with the heaviest waste. The RIU Hotels team decided to run the cleanup at a time of year when the river is not flowing, so their work has helped to clear the rubbish from the watercourse before the rainy season starts in Baja California. In previous years, tonnes of waste have been washed into the sea by the river, polluting the sea bed and its ecosystem.
RIU Hotels and its water sports partner Scuba Caribe also worked in coordination with "Zero Waste", citizens’ groups and the Regional Coordination of the Federal Maritime Land Zone in Cabo San Lucas (Zofemat) to clean up the sea bed around the beaches of El Médano, Ocho Cascadas and Hacienda. Scuba Caribe offered one of its boats, and their team of volunteers, accompanied by RIU staff with experience of diving, worked together to collect rubbish located several metres underwater. In the course of this cleanup, they found numerous car tyres, plastics, heavy metals and even vehicles.
"Zero Waste" is a project created by a group of women with the aim of supporting and creating solutions to care for the environment. It is a philosophy that supports reusing all resources and argues that all materials can be reduced, recycled or reused in a safe and environmentally friendly way. The goal they aim to promote among their partners is to consume only what is necessary to stop the mass production of disposable materials and to turn to recycling as a last resort. "Zero Waste" means that nothing is wasted, and the aim is that nothing ends up as rubbish in our oceans or polluting our planet.
As well as joining this waste cleanup squad in Los Cabos, RIU Hotels is also following its strategy to eliminate plastic from more than 90 of the chain’s hotels. By 2020, it aims to get rid of all single-use plastics and in 2021 it will negotiate with all its suppliers to reduce the use of plastic and to foster reuse. Finally, by 2022 it will stop using plastic water bottles and water dispensers will be installed in all the hotels.
According to the UN, nearly a third of the plastic containers we use cannot be recycled, meaning that they end up polluting the environment. The figures are alarming. Worldwide, one million plastic bottles are purchased and five billion disposable plastic bags are used each year. In total, 50% of plastics are used just once. Likewise, every year 13 million tons of plastic are dumped in our oceans, where they destroy coral reefs and threaten marine fauna. All the plastic that ends up in the oceans in just one year could encircle the Earth four times and remain in this state for a thousand years before completely decomposing.
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