A new online toolkit has been launched by the Travel Foundation and Travelife, to help tour operators, travel agents and others in the travel industry take part in this year’s Make Holidays Greener campaign.
This year’s campaign builds on last year’s beach clean theme, but focuses on reducing the plastic waste produced on holiday.
The online toolkit, available at www.makeholidaysgreener.org.uk, includes simple actions that businesses and holiday-makers can take to reduce plastics, which are costly to dispose of and unsightly when washed up on beaches, rivers or other holiday destinations.
This year, the Make Holidays Greener campaign is focusing on cleaner, greener beaches, urging tourism companies to sign up to organise beach cleans, helping to remove plastic and other litter from beaches. By also tackling the issue at source and reducing the amount of plastic used in hotels and by customers, companies can ensure they minimise their environmental footprint.
It is estimated that there are around 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic floating in our oceans and that by 2025 there will be one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish in the sea. Plastic never biodegrades, but breaks into smaller and smaller pieces which are ingested by fish, turtles and sea birds, contaminate the food chain and wash up on our beaches.
The guide includes tips for holiday-makers and colourful infographics, posters and other materials for use by anyone supporting the campaign. The free materials highlight important statistics about the amount of plastics in our oceans, plus how we can all help when on holiday.
In addition, due to Travelife’s involvement this year and the high number of Travelife hotels that took part last year, there are also two toolkits for hoteliers – one on how to organise a beach clean and one on how to reduce plastic waste in the property.
Salli Felton from the Travel Foundation said “The world is beginning to wake up to the huge challenges associated with the use and disposal of plastic and particularly the impact on our oceans, seas and beaches. There are very simple things that companies can do to reduce their impact significantly and at the same time save themselves money. Our aim with this toolkit is to make it easy for hotels to change their practices to benefit the environment and their business.”
Nikki White, Head of Destinations and Sustainability from Travelife said: “As well as helping to keep holiday destinations looking attractive and protect us from toxins in the environment, reducing plastics can save a business money. It’s also a great way to show how we’re taking responsibility as an industry. Customers respond well to initiatives, and less litter on the beaches and in the oceans means a more appealing resort product to sell.”
To sign up to the Make Holidays Greener campaign and access the free plastics reduction resources go to www.makeholidaysgreener.org.uk.