Reunion Island’s Mafate trails aim for zero waste

Mafate Zero Waste

Published on 21 October 2015

Reunion Island’s national park body has launched a new campaign of “No Littering” along the hundreds of kilometers of trails leading into the interior of the island and particularly in the cirque of Mafate. In conjunction with Reunion Island Tourism (IRT), hikers are now given waste bags when they enter the area starting at the Col des Bœufs, de Marla et du Col du Taïbit. Clean up exercises in the past, when collected waste was taken out of remote areas by helicopter, amounted to some 150 tons overall, triggering a new campaign to protect the fragile environment of this UNESCO World Heritage site. 
Visitors to the area are now given a special briefing, besides the waste collection bag, not to litter along the trails and rather bring back empty bottles, food wrappers, and other disposable material for proper processing at the trails’ start and end points. 

The locally-made bags are made from recycled fabrics and can after washing be re-used. Printed information on the bags promote the “Mafate Zero Waste” campaign. Until December, the organizers of the campaign expect to distribute at least 3,000 bags, and plans are already underway to renew the campaign in 2016 when the impact of the project has been assessed.