How sustainable is Love Island? From fast fashion to firepits - the environmental impact of eight weeks cracking on in Majorca

The Islanders have unlimited access to food, firepits, new clothes and an infinity pool - what impact does all this have on the environment?

Love Island is one of the most watched reality shows in the UK, with fans flocking to buy outfits seen on the show and sharing their own personalised water bottles on Instagram.

While the show attracts millions of viewers and contestants rack up hundreds of thousands of followers on social media, the impact on the climate is harder to quantify.

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Bosses of the show have made attempts to level up, pledging more awareness on diversity, mental health and being kind online.

Love Island is sponsored by fast fashion brand, InTheStyle (Picture: JPI Media)

However, they don’t seem to have taken the same approach to being kinder to the environment, and there’s little apparent consideration for diversifying their use of resources to include sustainable methods.

So, what impact is Love Island having on the environment? This is what you need to know.

Travel

As magical as eight weeks on Majorca might sound, the contestants don’t arrive there on a magic carpet (made of recycled materials obviously).

The infinity pool uses gallons of water, but is hardly ever used by the singletons (Picture: ITV)

The contestants, and there have been a whopping 17 already, all fly from the UK to Mallorca. While it isn’t clear whether they fly out from the airports closest to their hometown or collectively from London, the impact on the environment is equally as damaging.

According to MyClimate, a 2,700km round trip from London Heathrow to Palma de Mallorca for 15 people causes a whopping 7.8 tonnes of CO2.

It’s not only the singletons who are flown out, there's also the crew and presenters, including Laura Whitmore and Iain Stirling. So you could likely multiply the original figure by three or more, equating to approximately 22.5 tonnes of emissions.

For the likes of Shannon Singh, those emissions were produced for less than 48 hours of Spanish sunshine.

The fire pit is a stunning centre piece, but does that out weight the impact on the environment? Picture: ITV

If you multiply those figures by six Mallorca seasons, it's 135 tonnes of CO2.

Fire pit

Love Island is nothing without fire pit heart-to-hearts and coupling ups.

But while things get sizzling hot in the villa, it's not just the girls’ hearts getting roasted.

The fire pit seems to be lit all evening on the show. It currently gets darker on the Balearic island from 9.20pm, and the love birds are unlikely to be in bed before midnight.

A wood-burning fire pit constantly releases smoke into the air, which has harmful elements including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and methane.

Not only are these gases pollutants for humans, they also contribute to killing off trees and vegetation in the surrounding air.

A regular fire pit releases between 3 and 5kg of CO2 every hour, so that's up to 15kg of carbon dioxide produced from 9pm to midnight.

Across eight weeks, that's 840kg of CO2, and across six seasons shot in Mallorca, that equates to over 5,000kg of CO2.

(Love Island has been approached to clarify whether the fire pit is eco-friendly - a representative is yet to respond to NationalWorld’s enquiry).

Hot tub and infinity pool

We could all do with diving into a stunning infinity pool to cool off after a hot day in the glorious sunshine.

Yet the infinity pool in Love Island seems to get used by contestants for nothing more than crowding round and dipping their legs in.

It seems a bit of a waste that the pool is constantly filled with gallons of water.

An average small infinity pool is about 10x20 feet and about 5.5 feet deep, requiring 8,250 gallons of water.

In addition, the contestants can also enjoy splashing around in their bikinis into the night, as they have access to a large hot tub.

Hottubsuppliers.com refers to the ITV show previously using the Countesa tub, a five-seater tub with one lounger space which equates to more space required than six seats.

According to several hot tub retailers, a six person hot tub holds around 675 gallons of water.

Therefore, for seven seasons of the show to feature a pool and hot tub, they’ve used a heart-sinking 62,335 gallons of water.

Food waste

It has been widely reported by runners from the ITV show that the islanders can eat quite a lot of food, predominantly chicken breast, mayonnaise and coffee.

Bella, a Love Island runner in 2019, told Hello: “The islanders love snacks. Crisps, cookies, chocolate - the girls always want chocolate - and they love coffee. So I'm always topping up coffee."

When asked about the contestants' main meals, she said: "All the meals are made by a catering company. The guys do eat a lot of food, a lot of protein – they'll have like three or four chicken breasts in one meal."

The use of caterers means food will most likely be thrown out if left out for the day and not eaten, with islanders given unlimited access to the villa larder.

In the UK, it has been estimated that the average person wastes about 5.8kg of food a month, valued at £18. The contestants are in the villa for eight weeks, so they could be wasting just short of 12kg of food each.

That adds up to nearly 144kg of food across the show, as 12 contestants are in the villa at any one time on average.

Fast fashion

The islanders are always dressed in the cutest clothes, from their bikinis to their going-out-but-staying-in evening wear.

In 2019, fast fashion retailer InTheStyle won a pricey bid to sponsor the contestants. Prior to appearing on the show, the girls secretly meet with a stylist from the retailer and pick outfits they would like to wear.

So the islanders have access to dozens of throwaway garments and subconsciously promote the clothes across the eight weeks.

In 2019, InTheStyle had a whopping 250,000 new customers shop on their site immediately following the first episode of the sixth series.

Fast fashion is a real problem. More than two tonnes of clothing are bought in the UK each minute, according to research carried out by Oxfam in 2019.

The study found 11 million garments end up in the landfill every week, some of the fibres in clothing pollute our oceans and rivers and enter the food chain.

In summary, Love Island has made some limited progress when it comes to issues like mental health, but the data shows that it has a lot more to do when it comes to the environment.