Global tourism to take on plastic pollution

22-01-20

Tourism businesses and destinations are uniting behind a new initiative to tackle plastic pollution at its source. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, have launched the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, which sees them all work towards the common vision of a circular economy for plastics.

The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative aims to stop plastic ending up as pollution and reducing the amount of new plastic that is produced in the first place. It implements the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment vision, framework, and definitions to accelerate concerted action for the international tourism sector.

Tourism companies and destinations will make commitments for 2025 to eliminate the plastic items they don’t need; innovate so that all necessary plastics are designed to be safely reused, recycled, or composted; and circulate everything they use to keep it in the economy and out of the environment.

“The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment unites more than 450 businesses, governments and others behind a clear vision of a circular economy for plastics. We welcome the launch of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, led by UNEP and UNWTO, which unites the tourism sector behind this vision for a world in which plastic never becomes waste or pollution.” - Gerald Naber, New Plastics Economy Global Commitment Programme Manager at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

“The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative is a unique opportunity for tourism companies and destinations to step forward and lead the global effort addressing plastic pollution. Frontrunning tourism companies and destinations will set quantifiable targets as part of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative and accelerate the transformation of the tourism sector towards more integrated solutions and circular business models.” - Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General

“Plastic pollution is one of the major environmental challenges of our time, and tourism has an important role to play in contributing to the solution. Through the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, tourism companies and destinations are supported to eliminate, innovate, and circulate the way they use plastics, to help achieve circularity in the use of plastics and reduce plastics pollution globally.” - Ligia Noronha, UNEP Economy Division Director

By taking serious, coordinated action on plastic pollution, the tourism sector can help preserve and protect the places and wildlife that make destinations worth visiting.

If you are an organisation in the tourism sector and would like to join the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative or find out more, contact tourismplastics@oneplanetnetwork.org.