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CHAO Hotel, Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge and Jade Moutain Resorts

In this edition

Newsletter - June 2021

To mark the celebration of World Oceans Day, we are releasing the first issue of the newsletter of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative. World Oceans Day is taking place with the theme “The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods” and tourism is clearly placed at the intersection of both. The sector depends on a healthy ocean to flourish and at the same time is one of the leading sectors in the oceans economy.

Since its launch in January 2020, the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative has continuously received expressions of interest from organizations wanting to become signatories. The engagement of tourism stakeholders to address plastic pollution, even while going through the COVID-19 pandemic, not only reiterates the magnitude of the problem, but also the wish of the sector to take part in the solution.

We look forward to the newsletter becoming a point of interaction across signatories and partners of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative.

The Coordination Team


Three small businesses (accommodation providers) determined to fight plastic pollution share about their efforts to shift towards circularity in the use of plastics  

The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative proposes a systemic approach to plastic pollution where first, we eliminate all problematic and unnecessary plastic items; second, we innovate to ensure that the plastics which are still in use are reusable, recyclable or compostable; and third, we circulate, to keep plastics in the economy instead of in the environment.

Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) in tourism account for around 80% of all businesses in the sector. Transitioning to a circular economy of plastics can be particularly challenging for SMEs as they face limitations to integrate circular business models, for instance lack of finance or skills.

The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative (GTPI) brings together all sizes of businesses and value chain stakeholders to share best practices, knowledge and experience and therefore presents an opportunity for SMEs to set the course for plastic reduction, connect with circularity-oriented actors and get inspiration from other virtuous experiences.
The following interviews show how three SMEs accommodation businesses which are signatories of the GTPI - a hotel in the Chinese mainland, a lodge in the mountains of Nepal and a resort in a small island of the Caribbean - are addressing address plastic pollution in their daily services and operations, shifting towards circularity in the use of plastics.

The interviews were conducted by Sustainable First, also a signatory of the GTPI.

CHAO Hotel (China), Director, William Latour

Question (Q): CHAO is a hotel where services and spaces are curated with the aim to inspire and elevate a quality lifestyle, designed to make travel meaningful and is also a hotel that from its conception has been thought to contribute to address the plastic pollution problem. What competitive advantages have you gained in positioning CHAO as an hotel that addresses the problem of plastic pollution from the design phase?
Answer (A): “CHAO is a young Chinese lifestyle brand active in Hospitality, Art and Culture. We appeal to a progressive population of urban individuals that is sensitive to environmental issues. It is therefore coherent to place sustainability at the core of our organisation. In our sphere of luxury, a green attitude is chic. Joining the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative has certainly improved our visibility on the domestic and international scene as well as our capacity to reach a larger audience.”
Q: Do you have an interesting example/project that you want to share with us?
A: “On the occasion of Earth Day in April, we have replaced the common large bag used for the collection of garbage with a compostable corn base substitute that will prevent another 2 tons of plastic to end in landfill every year.”
Q: What advice would you give to other SMEs to implement ambitious goals related to circular economy of plastics?
A: “Embark on the global effort, your clients will appreciate your contribution. It's worth the investment”.
To read the full interview, click here

Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge (Nepal) – Managing Director, Marcus Cotton

Q: The Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge has been committed to environmental protection and sustainable practices promotion for years, you then decided to join the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative that aims to enable tourism value chain stakeholders to lead by example in the shift towards circularity in the use of plastics. What are the benefits of including your commitment to sustainably when communicating with potential visitors?
A: “We do not force sustainability on our guests, we rather demonstrate it in what we do and how we go about running Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge.”
Q: Do you have an interesting example/project that you want to share with us?
A: “We are exploring options with our local traditional recyclers, Kawarris, to see if we can enhance their capacity to recycle plastics. It is early days and these initiatives are met with suspicion and rebuttal and take a long time to move past the initial phases and secure confidence and trust that might then lead to positive action. Should this happen, it will be linked to youth groups in our community collecting plastic waste and we will then deliver it to the Kawarris.”
Q: What advice would you give to other SMEs to implement these ambitious goals?
A: “There is often fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of shame, etc. Our advice is: do not be put off; do not fear, take some small steps, measure them and report them to all your stakeholders. From small steps, larger initiatives will follow and from them a groundswell of public/industry opinion can drive the opposers away and force change.”
To read the full interview, click here

Jade Mountain Resort (St. Lucia) – Property Manager, Carl Hunter

Q: Since 2007, the Jade Mountain & Anse Chastanet Resorts in Saint Lucia provide luxury hospitality on the island while keeping at heart the respect of the nature and the community surrounding it. Your company places a strong emphasis on 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle' and communicates with guests about it on a day to day basis in order to sensitize them. What are the benefits of including your commitment to sustainably when communicating with potential visitors?
A: “Communication reinforces our commitments. By Communicating we can be measured against our words via the actions we have taken and what our guests touch and interact with.”
Q: St. Lucia, being a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) finds itself in a special geographical situation with immense natural and cultural richness that is unique for visitors, but at the same time, is confronted with a number of challenges and vulnerabilities. Three of a SIDS characteristics are: small size, with implications for pressure on resources and limited economic diversity; remoteness and isolation, leading to challenges for trading but also to a unique biodiversity and cultural richness; and a maritime environment, leading to strong tourism assets but vulnerability to climate change.
With these challenges to be faced, where did you start from and what are your next steps to implement a circular economy of plastics?
A: “Analysis of what alternatives could replace single use plastics and secondary from the range of alternatives considered which would be appropriate for St Lucia and the challenges we have managing solid waste. I.E. PLA Bio-Plastics appear a good option but require a system of waste separation and industrial composting to be effective in managing PLA as a waste stream. This is not available here so PLA would have been a bad choice option.”
Q: What advice would you give to other SMEs to implement these ambitious goals?
A: “Be cautious and do a study that contemplates the location in which you operate. Ensure that your selected alternatives meet the needs for the item it replaces and that these can also be managed well as a waste stream after use.”
To read the full interview, click here


Next announcement of signatories of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative planned for 8 July 2021

Since its launch in January 2020, the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative has made three public announcements of signatories. The last one took place on 9 March 2021, during the event Eliminate.Innovate.Circulate. Strategies from the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative at ITB Berlin Now. 15 new signatories from across accommodation companies, business associations, suppliers, waste managers, tour operators and NGOs were welcomed, bringing the total signatories up to 61. 
The Initiative continues to receive numerous applications and the next announcement of signatories is therefore planned for 8 July 2021. Don't miss out, submit your application!

For more information on the next event and registration, click here

Learn more about the signatories

New infographics available to bring closer to businesses and guests the Recommendations to Continue Taking Action on Plastic Pollution during COVID-19 Recovery developed a series of infographics as an additional useful resource to support tourism businesses putting the Recommendations into practice. These infographics were developed as part of’s commitments to the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative.
The infographics aim at bringing the Recommendations closer to businesses, in particular to accommodation providers, and also to facilitate businesses communicating their efforts to the guests. Download the infographics here.
The Recommendations to Continue Taking Action on Plastic Pollution during COVID-19 Recovery were released by the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative in July 2020 in 6 languages (English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian) to address the increase in the use of disposables as part of the response to the pandemic.
Have you implemented the Recommendations? Tell us how here

New research available on Single-Use Plastic Products and their alternatives

The Life Cycle Initiative at UNEP has released a series of analyses of life-cycle approach studies on single-use plastic products and their alternatives, highlighting for each of these everyday plastic products the key advantages and disadvantages of their alternatives, as well as summarising key messages for policy-makers.
So far, the Life Cycle Initiative has released guidance on bags, bottles, take-away food packaging, beverage cups and cutlery. Others such as face masks will be released soon.
Building on these materials, the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative team is now creating a compilation of key messages and recommendations addressed to tourism stakeholders, which will become available in the beginning of the Summer.

Access the latest UNEP report on alternatives to single use plastic products here


Tools and resources for implementing the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative

The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative has created a repository of tools and resources to support its signatories implementing their commitments on elimination of single-use plastics, introduction of reusable models, engagement and collaboration with value chain stakeholders, as well as at enabling additional tourism businesses and organizations to take action on plastic pollution.
Are you aware of tools and resources that could be added to the repository? Please email them to oneplanetstp[at]
Access these tools and resources here

Island Countries in Asia Pacific join a training session about the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative

The Macao Institute for Tourism Studies in collaboration with UNWTO, organized on 1, 3 and 4 June 2021 the 11th edition of the Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training with the theme “Capacity Building for Sustainable Tourism in Island Countries”. The programme consisted of three major blocks addressing the topics of destination management, sustainable tourism product development and festivals and events.
The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative was presented to the participants on 4 June as an opportunity to mobilize the sector to start integrating circular economy principles and practices in the tourism value chain, with plastics representing an entry point. The participants received practical information about the commitments which the initiative is requesting from organizations (destinations, businesses or associations) to become signatories, as well as on the process to submit applications.

Approximately 28 decision-makers in ministries and administrations of Island Countries in the Asia Pacific Region (Fiji, Palau, Vanuatu, Samoa, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and the Maldives together with Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area) attended the webinar.
Learn more about the training session here

Series of webinars to support tourism businesses to take action on plastic pollution

Due to incorrect disposal and waste management, plastic products generated as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic such as gloves, masks and hand sanitizer bottles have already been found in the natural environments of major tourism destinations.
UNEP organised two webinars in English and Spanish discussing the evolving regulatory and business frameworks and highlighting examples of tourism businesses taking action on plastic pollution in COVID times. Signatories of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative and partners of the UNEP IKI project on Tourism Value Chains (ClubMed, AM Resorts, Chao Hotel and Club Paradise Palawan) provided concrete examples of circular solutions that they implemented to support addressing the issue within their destinations. The webinars presented theInitiative’s recommendations on hygiene and plastics, highlighting how they can be implemented by different stakeholders.
Learn how tourism business can take action on plastic pollution: watch the recording in English here, and in Spanish here

UNWTO Recommendations for the Transition to a Green Travel and Tourism Economy welcomed by the G20 Tourism Ministers

On 4 May 2021, the G20 Tourism Ministers welcomed the UNWTO Recommendations  for the Transition to a Green Travel and Tourism Economy as a key resource to support the sustainable and resilient recovery of travel and tourism. Built on the One Planet Vision for a Responsible Recovery of the Tourism Sector, they lay the foundations for more balanced, sustainable and resilient models of tourism development for people, planet and prosperity.
One of the recommended lines of action is the circular economy, which stresses the importance to shift towards a circular economy for plastics to eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastics; innovate to implement reuse models for those plastics that are still in use, and; circulate, so that plastics are kept circulating in the value chain instead of in the environment as waste.
The UNWTO Recommendations for the Transition to a Green Travel and Tourism Economy also refer, as part of the case boxes included, to the support being provided by the French government to the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative and to the Recommendations on Plastics and COVID-19.
Access the Recommendations welcomed by the G20 here

Environmental Justice Impacts of Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution

The United Nations Environment Programme has released a new report highlighting how plastic pollution disproportionately affects marginalised communities and those living in close proximity to plastic production and waste sites.
The impacts of plastics on marginalized populations are severe, and exist at all stages of the production cycle, from extracting raw materials and manufacturing, through to consumption and disposal. This report highlights how different stakeholders, including governments, business and non-governmental actors, can act to reverse the situations for those who are marginalized.
Read the report here


Recommendations to the Saint Lucian Hospitality Sector for alternatives to Single-Use Plastic 

The hospitality sector is one of the world’s largest industries, however it is also a sector where a significant part of single-use plastics is being used and disposed of. These recommendations, focusing on the Saint Lucian Hospitality Sector, highlight the three types of plastics commonly used in this sector.

One of the main conclusions of this publication is that these plastics, especially the large-scale use of PET (polyethylene terephthalate), are very challenging as a waste product, as there is no viable recycling solution at the moment. Focusing on food containers and cups, utensils, straws, and guest bathroom amenity containers, it puts forwards several alternatives to replace these plastics, but also the need to rethink the need of having these products in the first place.
Read the report here
You can find this report as well as other tools and resources to implement the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative here


Recommendations for a responsible recovery: remove unnecessary plastics to reduce cross contamination touch points and waste

  • Single-use plastics are not sanitisation measures in themselves. On the contrary, they can represent touch points as they are being handled by many stakeholders throughout the production chain. Therefore, they need to be sanitised.
  • Disposable gloves should not be used as a substitute for handwashing, as they can give a false sense of security and may result in staff not washing hands as frequently as required. Washing hands regularly is a greater protective barrier to infection.
  • Making only the necessary plastic items accessible and available to the guests, or available upon request, will reduce touch points and avoid unnecessary cleaning and disinfection operational procedures while limiting (plastic) waste creation.


The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative unites the tourism sector behind a common vision to address the root causes of plastic pollution. It enables businesses, governments, and other tourism stakeholders to take concerted action, leading by example in the shift towards circularity in the use of plastics and requires tourism organizations to make a set of concrete and actionable commitments by 2025.
Join the initiative and be part of the solution to plastic pollution

Do you have a story or event you would like included in the newsletter? Please submit your news here

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