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GTPI issued the Plastics Measurement Methodology for Accommodation Providers

  • Published on December 14, 2022

Beyond its harmful impact on marine ecosystems, the damage caused by plastic pollution extends to the travel and tourism sectors, causing estimated damage of 13 billion dollars each year. Plastics are cheap, lightweight, durable and adaptable: a perfect storm for the environment as they are present ubiquitously across objects in our daily life and in packaging we indirectly consume. The pervasive presence of plastic makes it especially difficult to track, reduce and eliminate. 

To align and enhance the travel and tourism sector’s efforts in fighting plastic pollution and transition to a circular economy for plastics, the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative (GTPI) gathers ambitious commitments from tourism industry stakeholders around the elimination of unnecessary and problematic plastic packaging and items, and the introduction of reusable alternatives and increase of recalled content and recycling rates.

In addition, GTPI signatories commit to “report annually and publicly on progress towards meeting these commitments, as well as on estimates of annual weights of plastics use”.

With a view to supporting the GTPI signatories to achieve this commitment, as well as other accommodation providers who are not signatories, a plastic measurement methodology was developed within the framework of a partnership agreement between UNEP and Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, with the financial support of the French Government, and in collaboration with UNWTO and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.


The new methodology sets out a common framework for:

  • Defining the different types of plastics to be included in the measurement;
  • The metrics to be used;
  • How to define organisational boundaries and scope;
  • Extrapolating to fill data gaps.

The guidance is intended to be used by hotel operators or owners at the company level, but can also be applied at the single property level. Moreover, the creation of a common benchmark is the strength of the new methodology, which will allow for consistent year-on-year comparisons, both internally and externally.  

Technical assistance was provided by Greenview within the framework of its collaboration with the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance and with contributions from GTPI signatories and Advisory Group members, as well as members of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.

Discover the methodology and the calculation tools here. 




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