Greece on Tuesday joined forces with Common Seas, an international not-for-profit organization based in the UK, aiming to significantly reduce plastic waste in its hotels.
The cooperation was announced on the sidelines of the World Travel Market (WTM) 2022 exhibition in London where Common Seas announced the launch of PlasTICK, the first plastics reporting tool for the hospitality industry.
Aiming to significantly reduce the amount of plastic produced and stop it from polluting rivers and seas, Common Seas researches, designs and implements practical project-based solutions to the global plastic pollution crisis.
With the launch of PlasTICK, the organization aims to empower the hospitality industry in its fight against widespread plastic pollution, caused in part by the sector’s reliance on single-use plastics.
During an event at the Greek stand at WTM, Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias and Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) President Dimitris Fragakis signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Common Seas CEO Jo Royle in an aim to reduce single-use plastics in Greek hotels through the PlasTICK digital solution.
“With this agreement, we are taking another important step towards achieving the goal of sustainability in tourism. The future of our planet concerns us all and its impact on the tourism industry, a sector intrinsically linked with Greece’s GDP, is indisputable… Common Seas is effectively emerging as a trusted ally of the tourism ministry,” Kikilias said.
PlasTICK: The digital solution to plastic pollution
A first-of-its-kind plastics reporting digital tool, PlasTICK – www.plastick.com – enables hospitality businesses to measure their plastic footprint, set baselines, learn about and identify solutions and monitor progress towards plastic reduction targets.
PlasTICK enables businesses to annually measure the progress made towards the targets of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative (GTPI). Led by UN Environment Programme and UN World Tourism Organisation, GTPI re-quires tourism organizations to make and report on a set of concrete and actionable commitments on circular economy of plastics by 2025.
The tool also allows businesses to adapt to new regulatory and legal requirements ahead of time, ensuring a seamless transition.
What’s more, PlasTICK helps hospitality businesses stand out in the eyes of prospective eco-conscious guests and places them at the forefront of demand while driving sector growth in an industry that plays a pivotal role in the Greek economy.
PlasTICK was developed in consultation with 125 hospitality businesses in Greece.
Greece aims to reduce ocean plastic by 50%, says minister
“It is remarkable that PlasTICK enables us to measure progress towards our commitment to reduce ocean plastic by 50 percent,” the Greek tourism minister said.
On her part, Jo Royle, founder and CEO of Common Seas, said the organization is delighted to partner with Greece, the world-leading tourist brand, to announce PlasTICK.
“We are grateful for the Greek ministry’s endorsement and very proud to be working with a tourist sector committed to reducing ocean plastic by 50 percent and dedicated to safeguarding clean and healthy seas,” she said.
Active in Greece for three years, Common Seas also has a unique collaboration with the municipality of the Greek island of Paros since 2019. Common Seas’ Greece-based branch has Sophia Kavgalakis at the helm.
PlasTICK: A stepping stone to Greece’s sustainable future
PlasTICK comes to enrich an already impressive roster of Greece-based sustainability initiatives launched in recent years such as “Gr-eco Island” on Chalki, “Astypalea: Smart & Sustainable Island” on Astypalea, the “Naxos Smart Island” on Naxos and the “Rhodes Co-Lab” on Rhodes.
As highlighted by Kikilias during the event, Greece has a coastline of 15,000 kilometers and is known for its beautiful beaches.
“By signing the MoU (with Common Seas), we are taking an important step to protect these 15,0000 kilometers of coastline, seas, wildlife, and the quality of life of the country’s residents and visitors,” he said, adding that through such actions Greece can lead the way for sustainable tourism in Europe.
Information on sustainable initiatives of Greece can be found on the GNTO’s “Sustainable Greece” platform (https://sustainablegreece.co.uk/), which aims to inspire and encourage British travelers to visit and to explore Greece in a way that benefits local communities and nature.
Through the platform, visitors can find information on initiatives that are being taken on the Greek islands regarding new hiking and cycling paths, use of renewable energy sources, tree planting after forest fires and protection of nature and wildlife.
The WTM London tourism expo will run until Wednesday, November 9.
The Greek Travel Pages (GTP) is an official media partner of WTM London.