How to reduce single use plastic

Finding alternatives to single use plastics is not an easy task so we thought it might be useful to share any tips and links we've come across via our no single use plastic vacations campaign.

Alternate resources

Travel without Plastic
This is a brilliant resource centre for hoteliers, accommodation providers and tour operators with lots of tips on how to go about reducing or eliminating single use plastics whilst still meeting health, safety and quality expectations: https://www.travelwithoutplastic.com/

They are also in the process of collating a list of alternatives to plastic products: https://www.travelwithoutplastic.com/alternatives-to-single-use-plastic

A Plastic Planet
Not sure what corn starch or biodegradable packaging means? This is the go-to resource library for alternatives to plastic packaging, including info sections on what they are, why they work and how you can responsibly deal with them post use.

https://aplasticplanet.com/resource-library.php

Moral Fibres
A green lifestyle blog co-ordinated by Wendy Graham who has worked in the sustainability sector for years. This is her plastic-free resources page which contains information and tips on finding everything from plastic free bathroom cleaners and toiletries to plastic free teas and baby products:

http://moralfibres.co.uk/plastic-free-february-resources/

Water on the Go

Travel bottles
There are lots of reusable water bottles on the market now.
If you’re going to an area where you’re not sure the water is ‘safe to drink’ however, it could be worth investing in a ‘water safe’ bottle.
Travel Straw are a company who have invested in water bottles with added technology which makes unsafe water safe to drink. Their products can be found here: https://www.lifestraw.com/

Large compact water carriers
For some of our operators, particularly those organising sailing vacations, having large water carriers on board for drinkable water can be essential. Luckily there are 5L plus bottles which fold down to a packable size, this being one example: https://www.winfieldsoutdoors.co.uk/vango-foldable-water-carrier-8l/

Water at airports
Accessing water post-security at airports can be unclear and purchasing a bottle of water too tempting, especially when running for a flight. This brainwave website might be useful to share with your guests pre/post departure as it aims to get travelers collaborating on how to access free water at airports. You can see more, and contribute here:

https://wateratairports.com/

Water refills
WeTap's mission is to reinstate our faith in the tap and make water fountains easier to find with a handy map app. Available as an iPhone app, with android coming soon, they are adding new fountains to their database all the time.

See more here http://wetap.org/blog/

Refill is a UK campaign and app which maps out refill stations across towns and cities (see campaigns for more information) and here for current refill schemes: https://www.refill.org.uk/refill-schemes/

Starting conversations

Single use plastic has found its way into our supply chains in a big way so it is by no means an easy task to eradicate it. For some of our operators, councils were requesting them to use plastic bin liners for rubbish collection and it was only through starting conversations with their local councils and/or bin bag suppliers that they were able to enact change.

One of our tips would therefore simply be to start conversations. If the local council is being difficult about bin liners or if your accommodation supplier won't budge on plastic wrap then keep persisting. Send them information on alternatives, show them media coverage of the issues - the results may surprise you!

Inspiring campaigns

Refill is a national campaign which began in Bristol, UK, and aims to make refilling your bottle as easy and convenient as possible by partnering with local restaurants, cafes, museums and other businesses to provide open access refill stations. Bristol now has over 200 across the city with other towns and cities following suit.

They have an app so that contributors can add new refill stations as they find them. See their current collection here: https://www.refill.org.uk/about-refill/
Although currently UK-centric, there may be equivalent schemes in your destination, and if not, you could start one yourself...

Our operator Secret Paradise is looking to eliminate single use plastic straws from the Maldives and has invited all their partner guesthouses to pledge to stop using plastic straws in their accommodations. You can read more about their campaign, War on straws in the Maldives, below:

https://secretparadisemaldives.wordpress.com/2018/06/08/secret-paradise-maldives-war-on-straws/

Dive Against Debris is an underwater debris collection and data programme run by ProjectAWARE. They provide divers with a downloadable survey tool kit and empower them to remove and report on the plastics and other debris found during their dive. These findings are added to a database which is being used to help inform policy change.

More than 50,000 divers have participated in Dive Against Debris in 114 countries around the world to date.

Please see here to find out more: https://www.projectaware.org/diveagainstdebris

Surfers Against Sewage are running a plastics free community project where they are looking to individuals and their communities to reduce their plastic consumption and lobby the government for changes to legislation:

https://www.sas.org.uk/plastic-free-communities/

Also worth checking out their shop for plastic and BPA free products.

If you have any 'eradicating plastics' campaigns or useful links you'd like to add, please email anna@responsibletravel.com
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