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Plastic waste campaign wins support

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MADRID, 27 November 2020: The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative has welcomed 26 new signatories, according to lead partners the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the  United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

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.

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.

The aim is to reduce pollution and waste across all parts of the tourism sector and support a responsible recovery from Covid-19.

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. It can also relieve pressure on waste management infrastructures and foster a more sustainable supply chain. In this sense, a circular economy for plastics is critical for the tourism sector to preserve and protect destinations and to recover responsibly from the current crisis.

UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili said: “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.”

Recommendations

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.

Ellen MacArthur Foundation new plastics economy global commitment programme manager Gerald Naber adds: “The signatories of the Global Commitment are making encouraging initial progress on delivering their targets towards a circular economy, but a substantial acceleration of progress will be needed to achieve the 2025 targets.”

The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative unites the tourism sector behind a common vision to address the root causes of plastic pollution. Developed within the framework of the Sustainable Tourism Programme of the One Planet network, the Initiative is led by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Tourism Organization, in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

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