Businesses in the tourism industry have already started to stop using single-use plastic, with the likes of hotel chain Marriott moving towards reusable packaging
A move away from single-use plastic products will be one of the key trends set to shape sustainability in the tourism business, says an industry analyst.
It heads a list of five environmental issues that will have an impact on the industry in 2020, with scepticism over carbon offsetting in air travel and the closure of natural attractions also predicted to feature heavily, according to data analytics firm GlobalData.
Travel and tourism analyst Ralph Hollister said: “Due to highly-publicised campaigns from environmentalists and consumers against single-use plastics, the tourism industry has started to discard it from day-to-day operations.
“The startling amount of plastic in the world’s oceans has driven this initiative to the forefront of many corporate sustainability strategies.
Hotels lead tourism industry’s plastic clampdown
Businesses in the tourism industry have already initiated a move away from single-use plastic products.
Hotel brand Marriott announced in 2019 that it intends to remove single-use toiletry bottles across its chain, with the switch expected to be completed by December 2020.
The firm says the move — trialled across 1,000 properties in North America in 2018 — will save 500 million mini bottles going into landfill annually.
Hollister said: “Major players in the hotel and airline sectors are vying to become leaders in the reduction of plastic waste.
“The Akaryn Hotel Group aims to become the first single-use plastic-free hotel company in Asia by 2020.
“As a provider of luxury, it is vital that the elimination of plastic does not deduct from the guest experience at these resorts.”
Norwegian Cruise Line removes single-use plastic bottles from its ships
Alongside Marriott, other tourism industry giants have been making strives to move away from single-use plastic products.
Norwegian Cruise Line announced earlier this month it had replaced all its single-use plastic beverage bottles with plant-based cartons.
The firm says the move, which has been facilitated through its partnership with drinks manufacturer Just Goods – owned by Will Smith and his son Jaden – will eliminate more than six million plastic water bottles a year.
It’s part of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Sail and Sustain Environmental programme, which asserts the firm’s commitment to protecting the environment.
The campaign led to the company eliminating single-use plastic straws across its fleet and private destinations in 2018.
Norwegian Cruise Line CEO and president Harry Sommer said: “As a leading cruise line, we are thrilled to make such an impact by eliminating single-use beverage bottles across our fleet.
“It’s just one of the ways we are working to preserve our oceans and the destinations we visit.
“While this is just the beginning of what we and others can do, we are incredibly committed to our Sail & Sustain programme and believe wholeheartedly in the importance of preserving our natural resources.
“We will continue to strive towards making environmentally conscious decisions to benefit our earth.”
The company is also working to eliminate single-use plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles.