Italian tourist region has banned plastic bottles

Visitors to the Cinque Terre region in the Italian Riviera have been banned from carrying plastic bottles to stop the area being polluted by rubbish.

Tourists will have to pay one euro for a reusable metal flask that can be filled from water fountains in the area.

Officials claim that two million plastic bottles are left behind each year by the three million tourists who visit the region. Many of these fall down the cliffs and pollute the nine-mile long coastline.

Franco Bonanini, president of the Cinque Terre national park, said: “With so many visitors, the footpaths and villages of the Cinque Terre are at risk of being transformed into a great big open air dustbin.

“We are going to update the existing water fountains and install new ones… by the start of next spring; we hope to have liberated ourselves from this nightmare.”

He added: “To the three million tourists who come here every year, we ask them for a little bit of understanding, in order to save this paradise for the future.”

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* Premium £5.32 includes Insurance Premium Tax based on an adult aged under 55 taking out a “Standard” Single Trip 24/7 travel insurance policy for 3-days in Europe excluding personal possessions cover and purchased within 14 days of departure date. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (October 2010) and are subject to change.