UNWTO Announces Significant Progress in its Global Tourism Plastics Initiative and Welcomes Additional Signatories


World
PUBLISHED December 23, 2021 | updated December 23, 2021 01:48

The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative has welcomed a further 21 signatories, taking the total number past 110. The new signatories have been announced alongside the launch of a first annual report, which makes clear the significant progress made in tackling plastics pollution in tourism over the past year. 

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Accor, Club Med, Hong-Kong and Shanghai Hotels, Iberostar, Melco, Six Senses have all reported continuous efforts to implement their commitments to tackle plastic pollution. Together, they have eliminated over 108 million plastic items and packaging in 2020, totaling around 804 metric tons. 

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “In just one year, the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative has made a real impact. Together, signatories have cut their use of plastic by 800 metric tons, equivalent to 27 large shipping containers full of plastic. I congratulate all those businesses and destinations for their commitment and welcome the 21 newest signatories to the Initiative – a clear sign that tourism is working hard to become more sustainable, even in times of crisis.” 

Signatories report plastics progress 

“We are delighted to have joined the Global Tourism Plastic Initiative through our Bye Bye Plastics program: Club Med has already removed on a global scale disposable plastic items such as cups, straws, cutlery, plates as well as individual plastic packaging from shower gel, shampoo and lotion and from other in-room accessories. We are now aiming to remove single use plastic accessories from our rooms and festive events as well as reducing by up to 50% the use of plastic water bottles in 2024 (compared to 2019),” said Florian Duprat, Sustainability manager at Club Med. 

The full report is available online and is also linked to the annual report of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, providing its Tourism chapter. A broader reporting mechanism which would allow additional stakeholders that are signatories (e.g., SMEs) to report progress on the implementation of their commitments will also soon be made available. 

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