ABTA contributes to Global Tourism Plastics Initiative
Announced today at FITUR, ABTA is contributing to the co-creation of the new Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, which has been launched to stop plastic ending up as pollution and reduce the amount of new plastic that needs to be produced.
Led by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Tourism Organisation, in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative unites the tourism sector behind a common vision to address the root causes of plastic pollution. It enables businesses, governments, and other tourism stakeholders to take concerted action, leading by example in the shift towards circularity in the use of plastics.
As a member of the Advisory Committee for the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, ABTA is contributing to the co-creation of the initiative and development of a menu of commitments that outlines the expected contributions from the private sector, destinations, associations, and NGO’s in the sector to define concrete roadmaps for implementation of the Initiative by 2025.
The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative requires tourism organisations to make actionable commitments by 2025, to:
- Eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging and items
- Take action to move from single-use to reuse models or reusable alternatives
- Engage the value chain to move towards 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable, or compostable
- Take action to increase the amount of recycled content across all plastic packaging and items used
- Commit to collaborate and invest to increase the recycling and composting rates for plastics
- Report publicly and annually on progress made towards these targets.
By being part of the Initiative tourism companies and destinations commit to eliminate unnecessary plastic items; innovate so all plastics needed are designed to be safely reused, recycled, or composted; and circulate everything used to keep it in the economy and out of the environment.
Clare Jenkinson, ABTA Senior Destinations & Sustainability Manager, said:
“Sustainability has been on the agenda for many UK travel businesses for some time, and the industry is addressing environmental and social impacts of tourism. Managing plastic better is part of this and through the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative travel companies will have the vital opportunity to report on their progress and collaborate with destinations and other industry players at a global level.
“ABTA has been supporting its Members to tackle plastic as part of a waste management approach through our Travelife for Accommodation hotel certification scheme, our guidance for travel companies on managing plastics and also Make Holidays Greener.”
ABTA’s Make Holidays Greener campaign, run in partnership with Travelife, encourages holidaymakers and the industry to take action to create better places to live in, and better places to visit. The theme for the Make Holidays Greener 2018 campaign was ‘Say no to plastic’ and in 2019 ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’, together resulting in over 2,500 consumer pledges and just under 4,000 tonnes of waste reduced, reused, recycled or removed from the environment. ABTA also promote waste management in destinations such as Tunisia through its Sustainable Tourism Charter.
Gerald Naber, New Plastics Economy Global Commitment Programme Manager, said:
“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.
“It will be a challenging journey, but through concerted action, we can eliminate the plastics we don't need and innovate, so the plastics we do need can be safely and easily circulated – keeping them in the economy and out of the environment.”
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Notes to editors
ABTA has been a trusted travel brand for over 65 years. Our purpose is to help our Members to grow their businesses successfully and sustainably, and to help their customers travel with confidence.
The ABTA brand stands for support, protection and expertise. This means consumers have confidence in ABTA and a strong trust in ABTA Members. These qualities are core to us as they ensure that holidaymakers remain confident in the holiday products that they buy from our Members.
We help our Members and their customers navigate through today's changing travel landscape by raising standards in the industry; offering schemes of financial protection; providing an independent complaints resolution service should something go wrong; giving guidance on issues from sustainability to health and safety and by presenting a united voice to government to ensure the industry and the public get a fair deal.
ABTA has more than 4,300 travel brands in Membership, providing a wide range of leisure and business travel services, with a combined annual UK turnover of £39 billion. For more details about what we do, what being an ABTA Member means and how we help the British public travel with confidence visit www.abta.com.
About the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative
The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative is developed by the Sustainable Tourism Programme of the One Planet network, a multi-stakeholder partnership to implement SDG 12 on Sustainable Consumption and Production. The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative is led by the UN Environment Programme and the World Tourism Organisation, in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The Global Tourism Plastic Initiative acts as the tourism interface of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. It endorses its common vision and is aligned with its commitments, definitions and framework.
About the One Planet network Sustainable Tourism Programme
The One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme has the overall objective to enhance the sustainable development impacts of the tourism sector by 2030, by developing, promoting and scaling up sustainable consumption and production practices that boost the efficient use of natural resources while producing less waste and addressing the challenges of climate change and biodiversity. The One Planet Sustainable Tourism Programme is led by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) with the Government of France (Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition) and the Government of Spain (Secretariat of State for Tourism) as co-leads. The Sustainable Tourism Programme is part of the One Planet network, a multi-stakeholder partnership to implement SDG 12 on Sustainable Consumption and Production.
About the United Nations Environment Programme
The United Nations Environment Programme is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. http://www.unenvironment.org
About the World Tourism Organisation
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide. https://www.unwto.org/
About the Ellen MacArthur Foundation
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was launched in 2010 with the aim of accelerating the transition to the circular economy. Since its creation, the charity has emerged as a global thought leader, putting the circular economy on the agenda of decision-makers around the world. The charity’s work focuses on seven key areas: insight and analysis; business; institutions, governments, and cities; systemic initiatives; circular design; learning; and communications. https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/
About the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment
The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment unites businesses, governments, and other organisations behind a common vision and targets to address plastic waste and pollution at its source. Signatories include companies representing 20% of all plastic packaging produced globally, as well as governments, NGOs, universities, industry associations, investors, and other organisations. The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme. https://www.newplasticseconomy.org/projects/global-commitment