Samstag, 18.09.2021 11:51 Uhr

Tourism takes action on plastic waste and pollution

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 13.07.2021, 21:38 Uhr
Nachricht/Bericht: +++ Reise & Tourismus +++ Bericht 4089x gelesen

Rome [ENA] The failure of plastic recycling is the big problem. One million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute all over the world, while 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide every year. In total, half of all plastic produced is conceived to be used only once and then thrown away. Plastic waste is so ubiquitous in the natural environment that scientists have even proposed it as a geological

indicator of the Anthropocene era. Microplastics, fragments of any type of plastic less than 5 mm, also cause significant pollution of the marine regions. The European Union is taking action on plastics to tackle plastic pollution and marine litter, and to speed up the transition to a circular plastics economy. Tourism businesses and destinations are accelerating their commitment to sustainability. The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative (GTPI) is welcoming 32 new signatories, with every global region represented behind the shared goal aimed at reducing waste and pollution across the sector. The Initiative unites the tourism sector behind a common vision to tackle the root causes of plastic pollution. It allows businesses, governments

and other tourism stakeholders to lead by example in the shift towards a circular economy of plastics. Among the 32 new signatories are organizations such as TUI Group, AC Hotels by Marriott, Palladium Hotel Group, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, Hostelling International, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and Visit Valencia. The total number of signatories is now up to 93 companies and organizations. These include organizations of the tourism value chain, including accommodation providers, tour operators, online platforms, suppliers, waste managers and supporting organizations.

Andreas Vermöhlen, Manager for Sustainability, Circular Economy and Sustainable Development at TUI Group said: “Together we can make important steps towards less unnecessary single-use plastic in the world and shift towards a circular economy.” Addressing plastic pollution is essential to sustainably restart tourism, preserve destinations and contribute to climate action. To mark the confirmation of the new signatories, UNWTO and the United Nations Environment Programme, in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, held a special panel discussion with the theme Eliminate. Innovate. Circulate. Strategies from the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative. Participants included Accor Group, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels,

Palladium Hotel Group, Chumbe Island Coral Park and the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance. Addressing plastic pollution is essential to sustainably restart tourism, preserve destinations and contribute to climate action. Alongside this, a keynote presentation on “A Life Cycle Approach – Key messages for tourism businesses” further emphasised the aims of the GTPI, with a special focus on innovation and the importance of context-based approaches to make sure plastics are circulated back into the economy rather than thrown away after use.

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