Local pro-environment tourism groups and local government units (LGUs) have expressed support to the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative (GTPI) by the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization (UNWETO) in promoting sustainable tourism across the globe.
UNWETO also aims to bring together with all tourism businesses, organizations, and government to commit their share in tackling tourism’s plastic pollution problem.
CEBU CITY, CEBU — Cebu City governor Gwendolyn Garcia encourages provincial local government units to create programs that promote domestic tourism and locally-produced products and services as a way to help the economy survive from the impact of the Covid-19 crisis. She recognizes the fact that the issue of plastic pollution can’t be fully addressed if only a handful participates in the movement.
GTPI says “our natural environment is bearing the consequences of all our vacations and in this, the world is talking years and years’ worth of pollution.
“Fortunately, there are businesses within the tourism industry that see the problem and have pledges to take proactive steps towards reducing travel’s environmental impact.”
The global initiative highlights much of the plastics used in tourism are the single-use type and are often not recycleable. This has led to an additional 8 million tons of plastic pollution ending up in the world’s oceans and, consequently, responsible for the deaths of up to one million sea birds, 100,000 sea mammals, marine turtles and countless fish.
“With 80 percent of all tourism taking place in coastal areas, well, you do the math,” it says. Plastic waste dumped in rivers from in-land or urban tourism also eventually winds up in the ocean.
“Covid-19 has also caused a spike in the production of new plastics—especially for the tourism sector. Think to package disposable masks, gloves, sanitizers, and so on. Besides consuming more natural resources, there’s an increase in the release of greenhouse gases that in turn promotes global warming,” it warns.
“So, to put an end to the cycle, tourism players can play their part and make contributions through GTPI by continuously raising awareness amongst staff and guests to reduce plastic use.” (TRC/The MiNT)