A ‘Say no to plastic’ theme is being highlighted in Abta’s annual Make Holidays Greener push in conjunction with Travelife for Hotels & Accommodations.

The campaign, which runs from today June until the end of September, focuses on environmental and community matters and the work being carried out in the sector by the travel industry.

As well as highlighting these areas to holidaymakers, consumers also have the opportunity to take part by making a sustainable holiday pledge.

A total of 15 pledges are available covering all aspects of a holiday – from saying no to plastic to eating locally and reusing towels or taking shorter showers to save water.

Almost 1,000 sustainable holiday pledges were made last year and an estimated 2,500 people took part in 79 clean-up activities.

Travel businesses, tourist boards and hotels can also take action themselves through Make Holidays Greener by taking part in plastic free initiatives, organising a clean-ups, or encouraging hoteliers and suppliers to consider alternatives to plastics wherever possible.

Abta members and destinations have been looking at plastics as part of a wider sustainability strategy for some time – working on issues such as waste management and recycling in destination, as well as looking at the use of plastics.

The association’s sustainability programme, Better Places, supports members to adopt the best sustainability policy that works for them.

The Travelife sustainability certification scheme for hotels and accommodation works with travel businesses around the world to help them improve their social, economic and environmental impacts.

Abta destinations and sustainability director Nikki White said: “The seismic shift in public attitudes means customers now have higher expectations about the use of plastics and are wanting to take action themselves too. We’d encourage all to get involved – as every actions counts.

“Holidaymakers can take part in a beach clean, take a reusable bag on their next trip or make a holiday pledge on the Make Holidays Greener website. Not only will it contribute to having a great holiday, but also help to ensure their chosen destination is preserved for years to come.

“Almost 70% of consumers now think travel companies should ensure their holidays help the local people and economy, and businesses can use this to drive for a change in their approach internally, as well as with suppliers and destinations.”

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