Global Tourism Plastics Initiative
Progress Report 2022
Following a pilot reporting exercise conducted in 2021, this is the first annual report of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative (GTPI). The report summarises the progress made by GTPI signatories in implementing their commitments throughout 2021.
The report also includes individual company profiles from 10 large accommodation providers (Accor, Club Med, Iberostar Group, Melco Resorts & Entertainment, Palladium Hotel Group, Phāea Resorts, PONANT Cruises, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, TEMES, TUI Group) and 2 suppliers (deSter and Guava Amenities).
You can scroll down for some main findings from the report, or:
Current trajectory of the GTPI
Elimination of problematic and/or unnecessary plastics
Progress in this category is being driven primarily through reductions in plastic usage in hotel rooms, bathrooms, and food & drink services. This is a similar trend as seen in 2020, when progress updates were collected for six large accommodation providers and one supplier. Less action is reported on logistics and service areas.
Introduction of reuse models or reusable alternatives
Trends in this category are similar those for elimination commitments as accommodation providers work to replace single-use plastics with reuse models. 60% or more of implemented commitments in rooms or bathrooms resulted in a full move to reuse models or reusable alternatives. Compared to elimination, additional focus areas reported include cleaning services and kitchens, although only a partial transition to reuse models is achieved. Suppliers also continued to work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to develop innovative reuse model pilots for the tourism industry, including the aviation sector.
Engaging the value chain
Efforts are being shown by all signatory types to engage the rest of the tourism value chain to move towards a circular plastics economy. Accommodation providers report engaging primarily with their suppliers. Signatories with large networks use a range of communication platforms, most commonly social media, to raise awareness of the GTPI, as well as developing technical resources and sharing guidance and information on plastic pollution and management.
Increasing recycled content
This commitment area received less attention than others; signatories typically prioritise plastic reduction over increasing recycled content. However, a range of recycling related activities were reported, such as supporting local recycling initiative or providing guests with bottles made of recycled plastic. Again, suppliers are the most common stakeholder group engaged by accommodation providers.
Collaboration and investment
The approach to this commitment area varies greatly across signatory types. Accommodation providers focussed overwhelmingly on providing their staff with training or means to better sort solid waste, or on investing to improve their recycling rates (e.g. by installing on-site recycling infrastructure). 48% of supporting organisations provided training or technical advice to their networks to improve plastic management. Similarly, tour operators, travel agents & platforms also developed guidance materials and worked with stakeholders such as local charities or accommodation providers.
Significant effort will be required for signatories to implement data collection procedures aligned with GTPI reporting requirements
While 2021 was intended to form a baseline for measuring annual plastic reductions, disruptions due to COVID-19 and data gaps (e.g. missing item weights) mean that in practice it will take multiple years for a representative baseline to be calculated. Effort is required both from signatories to collect data from their properties and from the GTPI to provide relevant supporting information.
Further support is needed to identify suitable alternatives to plastic items in Category III, particularly in kitchens
Signatories report significant challenges related to plastic reduction in kitchens. Service areas and logistics are also areas in which there is limited progress being made. Future research and capacity building programmes should be tailored to address these challenges.
More communication about the GTPI to signatory networks is necessary to maintain continued momentum around the initiative
While many report using social media, newsletters, and other means to raise awareness of the GTPI, most signatories could more actively engage their networks to bring new signatories to the initiative. The GTPI team should aim to exchange more regularly with existing signatories to ensure that the resources and support offered are useful, and to understand what else is needed to illustrate the value of the GTPI to tourism businesses looking to join.
Smaller organisations would benefit from more active engagement after joining the GTPI
Small and medium-sized enterprises play a fundamental role in the tourism economy, making it essential to secure their participation in the GTPI. However, besides announcing that they have become signatories, many smaller organisations show little active involvement with the GTPI, suggesting that they are not being effectively engaged or that the initiative may not be catering to their needs.