MADRID, 27 November 2020: The Global Tourism Plastics
Initiative has welcomed 26 new signatories, according to lead partners the
World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the 
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Ellen MacArthur
Foundation.

The new signatories include Booking.com, G Adventures, The
Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Inkaterra, TUI Care Foundation, deSter part of
gategroup, and International Aviation Waste Management Platform.

The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative was launched in
January 2020 and now counts on 46 signatories, illustrating how reducing
plastics pollution in tourism remains a priority despite the challenges posed
by the Covid-19 pandemic. The diversity of the signatories highlights the
Global Tourism Plastics Initiative’s potential to promote systemic solutions
that can be implemented locally and scaled up globally.

The aim is to reduce pollution and waste across all parts of
the tourism sector and support a responsible recovery from Covid-19.

Within the current context of the Covid-19 pandemic, a
circular approach to the management of plastic items and packaging can avoid
any increase in the use of single-use plastics for hygiene purposes. It can
also relieve pressure on waste management infrastructures and foster a more
sustainable supply chain. In this sense, a circular economy for plastics is
critical for the tourism sector to preserve and protect destinations and to
recover responsibly from the current crisis.

UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Moving
towards the circular economy is a strategic approach for the tourism sector.
The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative can lead to the reduction of pollution
and waste across all parts of the tourism sector and support a responsible
recovery from COVID-19 that leads to more sustainability and resilience.”

Recommendations

Earlier this year, a series of recommendations for the
tourism sector to continue taking action on plastic pollution throughout the
pandemic were released. These serve as a basis to develop Covid-19 recovery
plans, revise standard operating procedures, and define plastic management
strategies.

Ellen MacArthur Foundation new plastics economy global
commitment programme manager Gerald Naber adds: “The signatories of the Global
Commitment are making encouraging initial progress on delivering their targets
towards a circular economy, but a substantial acceleration of progress will be
needed to achieve the 2025 targets.”

The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative unites the tourism
sector behind a common vision to address the root causes of plastic pollution. Developed
within the framework of the Sustainable Tourism Programme of the One Planet
network, the Initiative is led by the United Nations Environment Programme and
the World Tourism Organization, in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur
Foundation.