A HALT TO PLASTIC WASTE

With Earth Day 2019 just around the corner, The Travel Corporation (TTC) is partnering with the TreadRight Foundation to curtail availability of single-use plastic bottles for travellers – offering eco-friendly alternatives.

To highlight its respect and recognition for Earth Month, TTC says that from the beginning of its 2019 operating season, its brands – Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, Luxury Gold, CostSaver, Brendan Vacations, Contiki, AAT Kings and Inspiring Journeys – will no longer make available single-use plastic bottles on its coaches. These brands join sister companies Uniworld, Red Carnation Hotels and U River Cruises, which have already removed plastic water bottles from their operations previously.

Contiki is also trialing a long-lasting silicon one litre water bottle, with a 300-use charcoal filter, on a number of its trips this year around the world. This provides the traveller with a very usable, foldable and attractive water bottle, which ensures clean, safe drinking water at all times. Learnings from this year’s trial will then be shared with other TTC brands, as the long-term goal is to ensure all travellers have a refillable water bottle they carry with them at all times, ensuring they change their habits and dependency on plastic water bottles.

With single-use plastic water bottles no longer being made available on its coaches, TTC and TreadRight maintain their combined momentum on its unnecessary single-use plastics elimination initiative, announced in June last year. (TTC committed publicly to eliminating all non-essential single-use plastics across all operations by 2022, across all of its brands.) This latest initiative is expected to reduce plastic waste by several hundred thousand plastic bottles per year.

“Our passionate, caring global team is unified in its total commitment to our mission to make travel matter. This means changing a number of ways we’ve operated in the past. This announcement marks an important next step in fulfilling our pledge to eliminate all non-essential single-use plastics across our all our operations by 2022,” says Brett Tollman, Chief Executive, TTC and founder of The TreadRight Foundation. “We are working with our partners on the ground to make sure guests still have access to clean drinking water and will be identifying convenient points along the way they can safely and responsibly source drinking water. We will also be continuing our active efforts to find innovative ways to remove the few remaining single-use plastics throughout our organisation’s hotel properties, such as shampoo and body lotion plastic bottles.”

In addition to announcing that single-use plastic water bottles will no longer be available for purchase on all coaches, TTC brands Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, Luxury Gold, CostSaver, AAT Kings and Inspiring Journeys will be eliminating several hundred thousand pieces of single-use plastics from their operations by moving away from the use of non-biodegradable name tags for all guests on their trips. Further, these brands are also replacing single-use plastic luggage tags with reusable, durable luggage tags.

Red Carnation Hotels, a long-standing supporter of the removal of single-use plastics across all of their 17 (soon to be 20) luxury hotels, has banned single use plastic water bottles in addition to more than 20 everyday plastic convenience items from all properties for some time now. As has Uniworld onboard its ships for several years now.

Further underscoring the importance of the need to eliminate single-use plastics from their daily lives and create a more sustainable travel industry, TTC teams around the world will be mobilizing all Earth Month long for community clean-ups, sustainability education seminars, and volunteer projects.

The TreadRight Foundation will also be helping travellers explore more sustainably and make their travel matter with a series of videos providing tips on eliminating plastics and conserving water when travelling, as well as the Do’s and Don’ts for travellers interacting with animals. The video series will be released in the week leading up to Earth Day on Sunday, April 22.