10 ways to reduce plastic in your tourism supply chain

Plastic in our oceans, our wildlife, and as recently proven also in our food! It’s clear something has to change and that we need to reduce, re-use and recycle our plastic to reduce its negative impact on the environment.

Plastic is made to last several hundred years and as it is difficult to replace in some cases, there are so many plastics wasted. Especially single-use plastic products are an issue in tourism. We, as tourism industry, have a responsibility to ensure our destinations are clean and our travellers aware of the issue.

As the issue and solution is complex, it’s difficult to find the right approach and how to begin. To get you started, I wrote down 10 tips to reduce single-use plastic in your supply chain.

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1. Stimulate clients to bring their own refillable water bottle during their trip

Tourists use around 30 plastic bottles per person for a two-week trip. Can you imagine how much single-use plastic would be saved when they brought their own bottle?

2. Offer clients a refillable water bottle during (multiple) day trips

In case clients did not bring their own water bottle or you are only responsible for the ground activities, offer them a company refillable water bottle. You are now taking control of plastic waste during your activity and you can re-use the bottles for the next group of clients.

3. Provide cars used for trips or transfers with a 20L water gallons

Offer your clients opportunities to easily refill their bottle while on the go. During long transfers tourists get thirsty and by supplying them with water to refill their bottle you are directly reducing plastic waste!

4. Stimulate your partner accommodations to offer free drinking water

Offer clients water from a large re-fillable gallon to reduce on small plastic bottles. Similar to providing water during transfers, there is a large amount of plastic to reduce in accommodations. While you are reducing plastic, you are showing your hospitality and that you care about the environment.

5. Make clients aware on the issue of single-use plastic

By making them aware of the issue in the destination and include tips to reduce single-use plastic during their trip, they will understand your decisions and support you for it!

6. Stimulate your partner accommodations to reduce plastic toiletries

Have them offer plastic-free soap and shampoo in dispensers. Not only is this better for the environment, it’s cheaper and when bought locally good for the local economy!

7. Use reusable containers or paper boxes when packing lunch for clients

When packaging lunch for clients, use paper boxes or reusable plastic containers that can be used for the next group of clients. You can also opt for having lunch at local restaurants to reduce waste and to support the local economy.

8. Buy in bulk to reduce on packaging

Not only will this save the amount of plastic, it also means there is less CO2 emission when it’s delivered to you all in one sending. You can also go for local products that come without the plastic, are fresh and support the local economy.

9. Work together with local organisations

Collaboration makes difficult tasks easier! I am a big fan of the project Refill My Bottle where organisations, tour operators and travellers work together to expand the number of refill water stations where reusable bottles can be refilled.

10. Stimulate clients and your supply chain to participate in (beach) clean-ups

Organised beach clean-ups are trending and not without reason. They are fun activities where travellers and locals all work together to create a cleaner environment. There is always one nearby or you can organise one yourself!

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Curious how you can reduce single-use plastic as a traveller? Read my blog 9 ways to reduce single-use plastic while on holiday.

Want to learn more? Fair Sayari can help you address local plastic issues and create a strategy for your company that reduces plastic in your supply chain!

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