As the fast moving conveyor belt of people traveling the world begins to get going again the tourism sector faces renewed pressures to fight plastic pollution. To support the sector, the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative has released a set of recommendations that can help it reduce waste while maintaining safe environments for visitors during the pandemic.
The tourism industry has been crippled by COVID-19. More than 120 million jobs are threatened this year worldwide as international tourist numbers drop by up to 80%. And business owners in the sector have been busy taking health and hygiene measures on their properties. Which has raised fears of negative impacts linked to waste, pollution and water consumption.
With these new recommendations, the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative is trying to support stakeholders achieve safe, eco-friendly, and profitable outcomes that are good for people and planet.
“When not properly disposed of, plastic products such as gloves, masks and hand sanitiser bottles end up polluting the natural environment around major tourism destinations,” said Ligia Noronha, Director of UNEP’s Economy Division. “We need to take a science-based approach and support governments, business, and local communities to ensure we are taking the most effective measures to protect hygiene and health without creating pollution and causing harm to our natural environment. These recommendations addressing hygiene and disposable plastic can support tourism sector stakeholders in their efforts towards a responsible recovery.”
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