18 Oct

More than 3,800 tonnes of waste managed as part of Make Holidays Greener campaign

An estimated 3,834 tonnes of waste, including food and plastic, has been reduced, reused, recycled or removed from the environment this year, as a result of the Make Holidays Greener (MHG) 2019 campaign. This is the equivalent weight of the number of plastic bottles needed to stretch more than three quarters of the way around the Earth if laid end to end1.

ABTA, in partnership with Travelife for Accommodation, launched the annual MHG campaign in June to encourage holidaymakers and the industry to create better places to live in, and better places to visit. This year’s theme was ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’. 

A total of 120 ABTA Member and travel businesses, from tour operators to hotels, participated in the campaign - up from 75 last year - running projects such as reducing food waste in hotels, setting up a holiday clothes swap and providing people with water bottles that filter as they re-fill to avoid using single use plastic bottles. 

More than 6,500 industry staff and holidaymakers participated in this year’s campaign, nearly three times the number who supported last year (2,275) with many taking part in 119 clean-up activities worldwide. These activities have been organised by travel businesses for their staff and customers to help keep local beaches, neighbourhoods and parks clean and limit the impact of waste on the environment. 

Meanwhile, a total of 1,386 holidaymakers made sustainable holiday pledges, up 8% on last year (1,290), with 31% choosing ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’. Other pledges included reducing or offsetting the journey footprint, buying local, going meat-free or staying in a Travelife certified hotel. Competition winner Jane Penny from West Wales pledged to ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ on holiday and won a carry-on travel bag by sustainability leaders Patagonia. 

Further to this, the campaign also reached more than 565,000 people via social media, both through ABTA’s channels and travel bloggers sharing the MHG messaging. This is an increase of 58% on last year, which reached just over 355,000 people. Holidaymakers and travel companies are encouraged to share their activity on social media using #MHG19.

Nikki White, ABTA Director of Destinations and Sustainability said: 
“This year more ABTA Members, travel businesses and customers have taken part in MHG than ever before and it’s fantastic to see the range of initiatives that have taken place over the past 12 months. The industry continues to make great strides in reducing the amount of waste it produces.

“I would like to thank everyone who has participated this year and look forward to seeing the industry further develop its approach to sustainability in the years to come. ABTA Members are also reminded that support is available to them year round if they would like to continue their initiatives beyond this year’s campaign.”

The full list of sustainable holiday pledges are:
1.    Reduce, reuse and recycle 
2.    Organise a holiday clean up
3.    Look for the Travelife logo - stay at a hotel that demonstrates care for the environment and its staff 
4.    Respect animals
5.    Eat local produce and buy local goods
6.    Go meat free
7.    Protect biodiversity
8.    Respect local customs and talk to locals in their languages
9.    Protect children – support local community projects and refrain from giving money to begging children or visiting orphanages
10.    Use local transport
11.    Switch off electrical devices in your accommodation when you’re not using them
12.    Reduce or offset your journey footprint
13.    Save water – reuse towels and take shorter showers
14.    Tell the world – tell the world about your positive holiday experiences 
15.    Free choice – the chance to organise or suggest an activity specific to your holiday

For further information, contact:
Tom Sommerfelt, Senior Media Relations Executive on 020 3117 0531 and press@abta.co.uk 
Out of Hours: contact the duty press officer 020 3693 0183
Web: www.abta.com
Twitter: @ABTAtravel

Notes to editors

3,834 tonnes is equivalent to 95,850,000 2l plastic bottles 
Height of 2l bottle: 34.6cm - https://amzn.to/31cqUrX 
Weight of 2l bottle: 40g - www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Esterform%20packaging%20final%20report.pdf
The equivalent distance of bottles laid end to end: 33,164km. Circumference of Earth: 40,075km 
Equivalent to 82% of the circumference of Earth
For industry case studies please visit: https://makeholidaysgreener.com/holidaymaker/stories/

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