Rethinking Single Use Plastic Products in Travel & Tourism

Impacts, Management Practices and Recommendations

Travel & Tourism sector undoubtedly plays a key role in global prosperity: it supported 1 in 10 jobs and contributed US$8.8 trillion to global GDP in 2019. Its role in job creation and lasting positive social impact is immense. However, without a healthy and thriving environment the sector and our planet cannot survive. With increased understanding of the damage that plastic pollution inflicts upon the environment, the sector is pivoting and increasingly creating awareness of the impact of SUPPs, promoting the use of reusables, providing more sustainable solutions and creating SUPP elimination strategies with the aim of moving towards a more circular approach based on a strong collaboration with local governments and waste facilities to ensure the recycling loop is closed. In this context, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) undertook research to better understand Travel & Tourism’s specific contribution to SUPPs and how sector actors can and are decreasing Travel & Tourism’s environmental impact caused by SUPPs. This report highlights some of the key challenges that still need to be addressed to contribute to a more sustainable future, including the impact of COVID-19 prevention measures on sustainability goals. It also features selected practical case studies where SUPPs have been successfully phased out.

Studies / Research / Report
Tools / Guidelines / Training
United Nations [UN]
48 pages
Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs]