Futouris publishes guidance on how to reduce (single-use) plastic in tourism businesses
Hamburg, March 12th 2021. Over 8 million tons of plastic waste end up in the oceans every year, in 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans. Alarming figures! In important tourist destinations such as the Balearic Islands, tourism accounts for a significant share of plastic waste. Especially in the summer season, due to tourism plastic waste increases by more than 30 percent.
For this reason, Futouris, the sustainability initiative of the German tourism industry, has published a guidance on how to reduce (single-use) plastic in hotels and tourism businesses. This guidance, developed as part of the industry project “Plastic-free holidays in the Balearic Islands”, contains alternatives to the most-common used single-use plastic products. The various plastic products are presented based on their impact in terms of sustainability, so that businesses can easily choose the alternatives that are best for them. This enables them to access and consider the environmental impact more accurately and easily.
The guidance was developed as part of the project “Plastic-free holidays in the Balearic Islands”, in which the Futouris members cooperate with the government of the Balearic Islands and local NGOs such as “Travel Without Plastic” and “Save The Med” to actively tackle plastic pollution. Together with local hoteliers and other partners from the tourism industry, concepts and measures for the reduction of plastic waste and the improvement of the recycling rate have been developed.
The guidance supports tourism businesses in finding more sustainable alternatives to commonly used single-use plastic products. For example, different alternatives are suggested for plastic bottles, miniature toiletries, plastic-wrapped bathroom items, slippers, straws, plastic tableware and take-away boxes. The recommended alternatives are rated according to their sustainability performance based on an index developed by “Save The Med”. The index takes, among others, the impact of the material used on the environment, recyclability and existing disposal options into consideration.
For example, plastic water bottles and their lids contribute significantly to plastic pollution on beaches and in the oceans. In hotel operations for example, these can be replaced by water stations in public areas or corridors or by using reusable glass bottles from local suppliers. Both alternatives already reduce the negative impact on the environment significantly and can also contribute to cost savings.
Prof. Dr. Harald Zeiss, CEO of Futouris, is convinced: “Most single-use plastic products are easy to replace. But many companies don’t know the possibilities. This is where our guidance comes in: We offer tourism businesses worldwide a clear selection of more sustainable alternatives. This saves companies time and reduces plastic waste along the entire tourism value chain ”.
In the next step, the pilot measures developed to reduce plastic consumption will be tested in practice by the participating project hotels with regards to their feasibility and potential cost-savings.
Reducing the plastic waste generated by tourism and improving the recycling of unavoidable plastic waste on Balearic Islands – these are the goals of the industry project "Plastic-free holidays on the Balearic Islands" the Futouris members are implementing together with the Government of the Balearic Islands.
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