The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has today become a signatory of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, led by the United Nations Environment Programme and World Tourism Organization, in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative unites the tourism sector behind a common vision to address the root causes of plastic pollution. It enables businesses and governments to take concerted action, leading by example in the shift towards a circularity in the use of plastics.
As a signatory of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, PATA commits to eliminate, innovate and circulate its use of plastics. Specifically, by 2025, PATA commits to:
- Encouraging affiliated organisations and businesses of partners to join the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative by spreading the word through media channels by August 2020, by highlighting 5 successful members’ case studies by January 2021 and by including plastics as key component of promoting sustainability in tourism supply chains by June 2021.
- Advising and guiding members to better manage plastics in their operations by integrating workshops, toolkits and trainings into Tour Link Project promoting sustainability in the Thai tourism supply chain by June 2021.
“As a signatory of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, PATA endorses the common vision to address the root cause of plastic pollution. We recognise that there are many opportunities to solve the plastic problem, but various challenges remain as organisations may want to focus on other sustainability priorities or are not sure of where or how to remove and reduce plastic. Therefore, PATA is committed in helping advise and guide our members to better manage plastics throughout their entire supply chain,” said PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy. “We encourage all of our members, partners, and affiliated organisations and businesses to join the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative. Together, through each of our individual commitments we can overcome the plastic challenge.”
Developed within the framework of the Sustainable Tourism Programme of the One Planet network, a multi-stakeholder partnership to implement SDG 12 on Sustainable Consumption and Production, the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative is led by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Tourism Organisation, in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative acts as the tourism sector interface of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, which unites more than 450 businesses, governments, and other organisations behind a common vision and targets to address plastic waste and pollution at its source. As such, the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative will implement the New Plastics Economy vision, framework and definitions to mobilise the global tourism industry towards concerted significant action against plastic pollution.
The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative aims to stop plastic ending up as pollution while also reducing the amount of new plastic that needs to be produced. To realise this vision, tourism companies and destinations commit to eliminate the plastic items they don’t need; innovate so all plastics they do need are designed to be safely reused, recycled, or composted; and circulate everything they use to keep it in the economy and out of the environment.
The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative requires tourism organisations to make a set of concrete and actionable commitments by 2025:
- Eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging and items by 2025;
- Take action to move from single-use to reuse models or reusable alternatives by 2025;
- Engage the value chain to move towards 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable, or compostable;
- Take action to increase the amount of recycled content across all plastic packaging and items used
- Commit to collaborate and invest to increase the recycling and composting rates for plastics
- Report publicly and annually on progress made towards these targets.
By transitioning to circularity in the use of plastics, the tourism sector can make positive contributions like reducing landfill, pollution, natural resource depletion and greenhouse gas emissions; raising awareness of conservation among staff and guests to avoid single-use plastic products; influencing their suppliers to produce more sustainable alternatives to single-use plastic products; working with governments to improve local waste infrastructure and community facilities; and creating sustainable livelihoods and long-term community prosperity in harmony with nature.
By taking serious action in a coordinated and determined manner on plastic pollution, the tourism sector can help preserve and protect the places and wildlife that make destinations worth visiting.