Tourism businesses and organisations from every part of the global tourism value chain join fight against plastic pollution
25 November 2020
  • Sustainable Tourism

The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative has welcomed 26 new signatories, including businesses and tourism organizations from every part of the global tourism value chain. 

Developed by the One Planet network Sustainable Tourism Programme, and led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the Initiative unites the tourism sector behind a common goal of addressing the root causes of plastic pollution.

The new signatories include Booking.com, G Adventures, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Inkaterra, TUI Care Foundation, deSter part of gategroup and the International Aviation Waste Management Association among others. They also feature suppliers of guest amenities, on-the-go packaging and waste-management platforms, as well as accommodation providers (both large groups and SMEs), leading online tourism platforms, tour operators, and associations working at the destination level.

This Initiative was launched in January 2020 and now counts 46 signatories, illustrating how reducing plastic pollution in tourism remains a priority, despite the challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The diversity of the signatories highlights the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative’s potential to promote systemic solutions that can be implemented locally and scaled up globally.

Tackling plastic pollution remains a priority for sector

Within the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic, a circular approach to the management of plastic items and packaging can prevent an increase in the use of single-use plastics for hygiene purposes. It can also relieve pressure on waste management infrastructures and foster a more sustainable supply chain. In this sense, a circular economy for plastics is critical for the tourism sector to preserve and protect destinations and to recover responsibly from the current crisis.

The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative released in July a set of recommendations for the tourism sector to continue taking action on plastic pollution throughout the pandemic. These serve as a basis to develop COVID-19 recovery plans, revise standard operating procedures, and define plastic management strategies. The recommendations are now available in all official UN languages.

The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative forms part of the larger framework of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. Specifically, the Initiative acts as sectoral interface to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, which recently released its Progress Report for 2020.

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  • Sustainable Tourism
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