Companies from across the travel industry – including TTG Media – have invested in trialling a new scheme to recycle brochure wrap.
Some 150 agents across the south-east will take part in the pilot initiative, with special bins supplied and weekly collections taking place.
The scheme, which is free for agents, is being sponsored by Gold Medal and Travel 2, Hurtigruten, Intrepid, Norwegian Cruise Line, BP’s TradeGate and TTG Media.
Designed to be placed in travel agencies’ store rooms, the bins can be used for shrink wrap as well as wrapping from any single brochures.
Steve Martin, general manager of BP Travel Marketing, part of Menzies Distribution, arrived at the idea with Hurtigruten’s Richard Adams after “knocking around environmental schemes and other ideas about recycling of plastic waste”. He said the aim was “to get a plastic brochure wrap recycling bin into every travel agency”.
“The shrink wrap and brochure wrap that we use is all made from recyclable material,” he said. “The bins will contain a recyclable plastic bag that the wrap will go into and on a weekly basis we will collect the bags when we deliver brochures into stores.
"Each bag collected will be replaced with a fresh one and all the plastic brochure wrap collected will be recycled using our current recycling processes.”
The trial scheme, which will run for around three months, will see recycling bins delivered in December. Martin said once the trial had concluded and the results analysed, he hoped to roll the scheme out nationwide.
Kerry Gallagher, marketing director, Gold Medal and Travel 2, said: “While brochures remain an important part of our strategy, so does acting in an environmentally sustainable manner, and the recycling bins ensure agents can easily dispose of the wrap, therefore reducing waste.”
Adams, UK head of marketing at Hurtigruten, added: “Until a viable alternative to shrink wrap plastic becomes widely available, plastic recycling will minimise its negative environmental effect. All of us within the industry should recognise our responsibility.”
Andrew Turner, head of industry sales EMEA at Intrepid, said the operator was “delighted to be a part of this innovative project to reduce waste”.
“Brochures are a crucial part of our sales model so it’s fantastic to be able to trial ways to make this a more sustainable part of the business,” he said.
Eamonn Ferrin, vice-president and managing director UK, Ireland and MEA, Norwegian Cruise Line, said sustainability remained “a priority” for NCL. “We are committed to supporting initiatives such as this.”
Daniel Pearce, CEO of TTG Media, said the new scheme was in line with TTG Media’s push to create a smarter, better, fairer industry. “Since we established our new mission statement in April, we’ve looked at ways to drive sustainability in the sector and we’re proud to be able to support this fantastic scheme."
Adams added: “The issue is enormous. As an industry, we can do more. Joint action has the power to create a movement and reduce the environmental impact plastic has on our planet.
“We appeal to travel agents to recycle the plastic shrink wrap from all brochures you receive. Please use these bins to do your part; together we’ll make a big difference.”