As I sat under the welcome shade of a cluster of palm trees, my gaze drifted over the calm waters of the lagoon ahead of me – and was caught by a line of neatly labelled terracotta rubbish bins.

To be honest, when I’d imagined my trip to Egypt’s Red Sea region, I’d pictured swimming in warm, crystal-clear waters and discovering vibrant coral reefs surrounded by brightly coloured fish.

And though I was able to do all of that, it was not the marine beauty that captivated me the most, but rather El Gouna’s impressive commitment to sustainability. Instead of detracting from the natural beauty of the Egyptian resort town, the rubbish bins were a welcome sight.