Recycle Tourism balances international investment and tourism with national resource preservation.
A 362 km coastline along the Ionian Sea has been the victim of years of neglect followed by a burst of unchecked development. Beaches once dotted alternately with concrete bunkers and scenic stone villages are becoming overbuilt playgrounds for developers and seasonal tourism. Relinquishing their beaches to the whims of investors both domestic and abroad, Albanians risk forfeiting their geographic heritage. The dense concentration of targeted development in coastal centers like Vlore and Durres has caused much pollution.
The project employs inhabitants and tourists of coastal areas as a new brand of natural preservationists, to render visible the extent of pollution in overused beaches. Residents and vacationers tag trash with phosphorescent paint, while bioluminescent marine life simultaneously signals and combats contaminated water. Glowing beaches are thus reprogrammed, visibly unsuitable for aquatic activity, while the novelty of glow-in-the-dark rubbish attracts tourism, nightlife, and self-sustaining consumerism. The approach empowers the people to actively advertise moments of deterioration in order to generate the income necessary for its reversal.