Committed to promoting awareness and encouraging more sustainable practices in tourism, the UNWTO’s Global Tourism Plastics Initiative (GTPI) has announced that it is welcoming 32 new signatories.
The initiative works to address the root causes of plastic pollution and enables businesses, governments and other tourism organisations to lead by example in the shift towards a circular economy of plastics.
Among the 32 new signatories are organisations such as TUI Group, AC Hotels by Marriott, Palladium Hotel Group, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, Hostelling International, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and Visit Valencia. These new additions bring the total number of signatories up to 93 companies and organisations.
Manager for sustainability, circular economy and sustainable development, TUI Group, Andreas Vermöhlen commented: “Together we can make important steps towards less unnecessary single-use plastic in the world and shift towards a circular economy.”
In light of the new additions, UNWTO and the United Nations Environment Programme, in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, recently hosted a panel discussion with the theme ‘Eliminate. Innovate. Circulate. Strategies from the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative’. Participants included Accor Group, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Palladium Hotel Group, Chumbe Island Coral Park and the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.
Secretary-General, UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili declared: “Addressing plastic pollution is essential to sustainably restart tourism, preserve destinations and contribute to climate action. We are proud to see the number of signatories growing continuously since the launch of the initiative.”
Alongside the panel discussion, a keynote presentation on ‘A Life Cycle Approach – Key messages for tourism businesses’ brought the aims of the GTPI to light, with a special focus on innovation and the importance of context-based approaches to ensure plastics are circulated back into the economy rather than thrown away.