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Global Initiative Prompts Tourism Sector to Unite Against Plastics

Photo Source: UNWTO

Tourism stakeholders worldwide are encouraged to team up and join the newly launched Global Tourism Plastics Initiative aimed at addressing plastic pollution at its core while enabling businesses and policy-makers to take joint action.

Supported by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative is calling on the tourism sector to reduce the amount of plastic pollution it generates with hands-on actions and deadlines.

More specifically, by 2025, tourism companies and destinations will be required to do away with unnecessary plastic packaging; transition from single-use to reuse models or reusable alternatives; work towards reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging instead of plastic; increase the amount of recycled content across all plastic packaging and items used; invest in and increase recycling and composting rates for plastics; report publicly and annually on progress made towards these targets.

“The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative is a unique opportunity for tourism companies and destinations to step forward and lead the global effort addressing plastic pollution,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.

“Frontrunning tourism companies and destinations will set quantifiable targets as part of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative and accelerate the transformation of the tourism sector towards more integrated solutions and circular business models,” he added.

UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili.
Zurab Pololikashvili

The Initiative comes under the Sustainable Tourism Program of the One Planet Network.

It should be noted that several Greek islands, including Paros, Alonissos, Lipsi, Donoussa, Sifnos, and Sikinos, as well as Athens International Airport and Minoan Lines ferries have moved ahead with plastic-free initiatives and actions.

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