Co-operative Travel is stepping up its campaign to encourage customers to donate unused currency during Fairtrade Fortnight, which runs from 24 February to 8 March.
The agency, which has 57 branches spanning the West Midlands, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, East Midlands, Derby and surrounding areas, passes donations to The Travel Foundation, which works with tourism organisations to protect popular holiday destinations and ensure tourism benefits local people.
Natalie Turner, the agency’s head of branches, said customers bought home an average £78 of unused currency:
“Customers can exchange their foreign notes in our stores for a market leading exchange rate, but those pesky coins inevitably go to waste.
“We’re using Fairtrade Fortnight as an opportunity to boost awareness of our collection box initiative and the difference those donations can make to communities around the world.”
Since Co-operative Travel installed collection boxes in all its branches last summer, it has raised more than £3,000.
Graeme Jackson from the Travel Foundation said: “It’s been estimated that British holidaymakers have around £663 million in leftover foreign currency after holidays abroad, and there are also around 450 million old British pounds still in circulation.
“That’s a lot of unwanted cash which could help us to transform tourism, so that it protects fragile environments and creates sustainable livelihood opportunities for people around the world.”