Changing how we travel
June 1st, 10:30 - 12:00
WATCH THE RECORDING
Green Nudges to increase circularity of plastics in tourism
The One Planet Sustainable Tourism programme (STP) and the One Planet Sustainable Lifestyles and Education programme (SLE) partnered to organize a joint seminar on the use of behavioral science to accelerate sustainability in the tourism sector, in particular by exploring green nudging approaches to tackle the consumption of plastic items and packaging.
The seminar built on the Nudging Strategy for Reducing the Consumption of Single-Use Disposable Cups developed by SLE Programme as well as on the Report on Key Messages for Tourism Businesses to Address Plastic Pollution from Single-Use Plastic Products – A Life Cycle Approach developed by the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative within the framework of STP.
Plastic pollution is one of the major environmental challenges of our time. Rising levels of plastics are accumulating in the environment, with the flow of plastic into the ocean projected to nearly triple by 2040. Mismanaged plastic waste alters habitats, harms wildlife, and can damage ecosystem function and services. With 80 per cent of all tourism taking place in coastal areas, plastic pollution from tourism can easily end up in oceans and waterways. Much of the plastic used in the sector is made to be thrown away and often can’t be recycled.
The COVID-19 pandemic has only increased the complexity of this challenge as plastic was often considered critical in the COVID-19 emergency response, including in the tourism sector. Scientists estimate that in 2021, 8.4 million tonnes of pandemic-associated plastic waste was generated. Responses to the pandemic effects, implemented so far, have not sufficiently (nor systematically) considered environmental impacts. The shift to a circular economy of plastics is key for tourism destinations which rely on healthy environments for their competitive advantages. At the same time, engaging with tourism stakeholders and, in turn, tourists, brings opportunities to export knowledge and best practices and scale-up change.
The One Planet Sustainable Tourism programme set the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative to unify the sector behind a common vision of circular economy of plastics and collaborate with tourism companies and destinations to develop concrete solutions to tackle plastic pollution.
The Initiative operates the following three complementary approaches:
- By ensuring that tourism companies, suppliers, as well as relevant national and local authorities are committing to a set of ambitious and actionable targets around elimination of unnecessary and problematic plastics, introduction of reuse models and collaboration at the value chain level to increase recycling rates and recycled content
- By ensuring that organizations and companies are annually disclosing their progress of implementation
- By supporting the implementation of the targets and commitments through provision of guidance and technical recommendations.
Behavioral change and tourism-facing campaigns are essential to ensure mobilization and support consumers towards actions implemented at destination level. Engagement and effective communication to tourists is very important for both tourism companies and local authorities and other value chain stakeholders operating at a destination level and participating in development of action frameworks to tackle plastic pollution.
The One Planet Sustainable Lifestyles and Education (SLE) programme has been working for the past two years, to support the implementation of the 4th United Nations Environment Assembly Resolution 6 on ‘Marine plastic litter and microplastics’ by providing guidance on developing effective campaigns for influencing individual choice and to enable the transition to single-use plastics by exploring the use of nudging in theory and practice.
The following recommendations, which can support effective implementation of circular economy of plastics by tourism destinations and companies, have been developed by the programme:
- The publication Next Steps: Tackling Plastic Litter - A Nudging Strategy for Reducing Consumption of Single‑Use Disposable Cups
- Draws on existing knowledge and experiences to suggest green nudges to reduce plastic pollution focusing on single-use plastics. The report provides a foundation for the application of behavioral science in policy making to reduce single-use plastics with a particular focus on single-use cups.
- WRAP publication on Exploring the Use of Green Nudges to reduce Consumption of Disposable Coffee Cups in Sweden provides insights on pilot implementation of these nudging recommendations.
- Ongoing pilot studies in collaboration between behavioral science experts, local government and café owners at the destination City of Gothenburg.
During the event, concrete solutions and recommendations on green nudging were presented and discussed. In addition, tourism businesses (food, hospitality, tour operators), local governments, tourism destinations and experts shared their experiences and recommendations with regards to the implementation of green nudges to address plastic pollution. The objective was to provide insights that inspire actions.
Moderator: Kate Laffan, London School of Economics
10.30- 10.45 OPENING
- Ms. Zoritsa Urosevic, Executive Director of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
- Ms. Eva Ahlner, Senior Advisor, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Sweden
- Ms. Anne Pluvinage-Nierengarten, Head of the International Multilateral Governance Unit, Ministry for Ecological Transition, France
10:45 - 11:05 Brief introduction on behavioral science and nudging recommendations for reducing single-use coffee cups
- Ms. Rachel Gray, WRAP, and Ms. Deanne Roche, WRAP
- Q & A
11:05 - 11:25 Presentation of pilot study on the use of nudging to promote the use of reusable cups
- Ms. Sophie Charpentier, CIT
Presentation of circular take-away system for cups and food containers
- Mr. Filip Eklund, Municipality of Gothenburg
- Q & A
11:25 - 11:55 PANEL DISCUSSION ON EXPERIENCES AND RECOMMENDATIONS SHARED BY THE PRACTITIONERS IN THE TOURISM INDUSTRY
- Richard Swannell, International Director, WRAP
- Katarina Luhr, Deputy Mayor for Environment & Climate, Stockholm
- Mr. Christian de Boer, Managing Director, Jaya House RiverPark, Refill NOT Landfill campaign, Cambodia
- Mr. Thomas Loughlin, Sustainability Lead - Sustainability Supply, Booking.com
- Mr. Filip Eklund, Municipality of Gothenburg
11:55 - 12:00 CLOSING REMARKS
London School of Economics
Ms. Zoritsa Urosevic
Executive Director of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
Ms. Eva Ahlner
Senior Advisor, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Sweden
Ms. Anne Pluvinage-Nierengarten
Head of the International Multilateral Governance Unit, Ministry for Ecological Transition, France
Ms. Rachel Gray
Ms. Deanne Roche
Ms. Sophie Charpentier
Mr. Filip Eklund
Municipality of Gothenburg
International Director, WRAP
Deputy Mayor for Environment & Climate, Stockholm
Mr. Christian de Boer
Managing Director, Jaya House RiverPark, Refill NOT Landfill campaign, Cambodia
Mr. Thomas Loughlin
Sustainability Lead - Sustainability Supply, Booking.com