Abta has backed a global, sector-wide effort to tackle the scourge of plastic pollution throughout travel and tourism.
The association has become a signatory of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, which is led by the United Nations Environment Programme and World Tourism Organization – in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
Its aim is to unite the travel and tourism sector to address the root causes of plastic pollution, bringing together businesses and governments to take "concerted action".
Abta is a member of the advisory committee behind the initiative, and contributed to its co-creation. As a signatory, the association has pledged to help eliminate, innovate and "circulate" plastics – which involves reusing, recovering and regenerating them.
It will continue to encourage members to tackle plastics as part of the broader approach to waste management built into its Better Places sustainability programme.
The association partnered with its Travelife operation to launch its plastics guidance last February, which supports accommodation providers to reduce plastic pollution.
“As the tourism industry reviews health and safety protocols in light of Covid-19, pressure to use single-use plastics has once again increased," said Clare Jenkinson, Abta’s head of sustainability.
"We want to support our members [to] make the right choices for their business, and to manage waste without compromising the health and safety of customers and staff.
“Our sustainability programmes – Better Places and Travelife – will help us engage with our members and give them the necessary tools to see this change happen. We hope this will encourage the international collaboration required to tackle plastics.”
The initiative calls on travel and tourism organisations to make various "concrete and actionable" commitments on plastics by 2025. These include: