Cleaning up the Mer de Glace glacier in Chamonix, France

Staff from the British Consulate in Marseille (http://www.gov.uk/world/france) and the British Defence Staff (France) will join forces with Crystal Ski Holidays (www.crystalski.co.uk) on 11 September to help local and national volunteers with the annual clean up of France’s longest glacier, the Mer de Glace in the Mont Blanc Massif.

The teams have worked together for a number of years to help British travellers stay safe on the ski slopes and are keen to work together again on this laudable project with a difference.

Sir Peter Ricketts, British Ambassador to France, said: “I am delighted that members of staff are volunteering for this initiative along with those we have worked with on our winter sports campaigns over the years.* It is a good way of giving something back to a region which is so popular with British nationals and of raising awareness of the importance of protecting the environment and the need to leave this, as well as other regions, litter-free”.

Since 2008, the initiative to clean up the Mer de Glace has been organised by the town of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc , the French Alpine Club, Lafuma and other mountain-based organisations. It calls on large numbers of volunteers who, since the creation of the event, have picked up many tons of rubbish left by 500 000 visitors as well as waste from abandoned bivouacs, cables and ski lifts that reappears decades later as the glacier ice melts.

Mr Nial Mclean, General Manager for Crystal Ski Holidays France, Switzerland and Andorra, said: “For us, sustainable tourism is not just an idea, it’s fundamental. We work hard to provide high quality holidays that cause minimal environmental impact, respect the culture and people of the destinations and offer real economic benefit to local communities. Crystal has partnered with The CarbonNeutral Company (www.carbonneutral.com) since 2003 and alongside our main airline partner, Thomson Airways, has supported the Carbon Disclosure Project (www.cdp.net), submitting its seventh report in 2014.”

*Consular services in the French Alps are provided by the British Consulate in Marseille. Every ski season British nationals need assistance while on a ski holiday. To help raise awareness of the specific dangers of the mountain environment, the Consulate and private partners have run a yearly communication campaign, “Stay Safe on the Slopes” since 2012.

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