The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative has welcomed 26 new signatories, including businesses and organizations from every part of the global tourism value chain.
Led by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) 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 International Aviation Waste Management Platform, among others. They 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.
The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative was launched in January 2020, and now counts on 46 signatories, illustrating how reducing plastics pollution in tourism remains a priority despite the challenges 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.
Within the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic, a circular approach to the management of plastic items and packaging can avoid any increase in the use of single-use plastics for hygiene purposes.
“Moving towards the circular economy is a strategic approach for the tourism sector. The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative can lead to the reduction of pollution and waste across all parts of the tourism sector and support a responsible recovery from COVID-19 that leads to more sustainability and resilience,” UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said.
Earlier this year, a series of recommendations for the tourism sector to continue taking action on plastic pollution throughout the pandemic were released. These serve as a basis to develop COVID-19 recovery plans, revise standard operating procedures, and define plastic management strategies.