Approximately 300 million tonnes of plastic are produced each year around the globe and only an estimated 10% of said plastics are recycled. Reducing plastic waste during travel has come to the forefront with initiatives across the board to meet this challenge.
Plastics are one of the largest polluting products which (destroy) areas of heavy tourism. Glass can be recycled, as can aluminium and many plastic products as well. Consider your plastic purchases. Can you use this item many times? Is it recycled? Will it go to waste? Keep reading below for more ideas about travel goods which are designed to reduce plastic waste during travel!
We’ve heard that plastic straws are destroying the world. But have you yet taken the time to consider that tourism is generating far more plastic waste beyond single-use plastic straws? Take a look at any beach following a high tourism season and one will likely see an uncountable amount of plastic bottles, ice cream containers, food wrappers, plastic sandals and other castoffs considered ‘disposable’. Plastic waste is a massive problem in traditional tourism.
Have you ever taken the time to truly consider the amount of plastic waste that is created on a daily basis? Globally, 300 million tonnes of plastic products are manufactured each year. According to the UN Environment programme, 8 million tonnes of that manufactured plastic goes into the ocean each year. Statements have been given that only about 10% of that 300 million tonnes is put into recycling efforts.
The tourism industry is working hard to reduce the amount of plastics litter left in the shadows by tourism. The Global Plastics Initiative was put into action to meet the challenge of exactly this problem; plastic waste in tourism. They are calling for ‘tourism organisations to make a set of concrete and actionable commitments by 2025’.
Many products for the tourism market are manufactured plastics. This does not need to be an obstacle though. It means only that one needs to make informed purchasing decisions regarding the travel goods purchased, in order to help reduce plastic waste during travel. There are sustainable options available! One option is to purchase reusable items which are made from recycled plastic bottles, thus reducing the amount of plastic waste and encouraging recycling efforts through the purchase. Another option is to purchase reusable items which are not made of plastics, thus reducing the demand for single-use plastic items which contribute greatly to environmental damages we are currently facing.
There are some travel goods which can be made from recycled plastic bottles. Some examples of these items include:
- Foldable, woven mats which can be used for picnicking or sitting on the beach
- Packing cubes
- Reusable water bottles
- Travel towels made from 100% recycled plastic bottles
There are also many travel goods which can be used to replace typical plastic items, in an effort to eliminate plastic waste during travel. Some examples of these items are:
- Bamboo toothbrush
- Reusable, closable metal food containers
- Water flasks
- Reusable razors
- Fabric shopping bags
- Reusable, washable straws
- Reusable, washable flatware sets
As sustainable living options are quite the trend currently, more and more environmentally friendly products are being created all the time now! These new environmentally friendly travel goods can be easily found by just doing a quick search online.
Tourism itself can make positive contributions by supporting plastic reduction initiatives and calling for more sustainable options and less plastic ‘freebies’ from tour companies. It is always wise to remember that although it may not seem like it, the consumer has the power to change industries by their purchasing decisions.
It will be interesting to see what comes next in the global effort to reduce plastic waste during travel!
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