Hanover, 17 September 2019

Sky High Sustainability: Over 26 million single use plastics removed since 2018 across all TUI airlines

  • Airlines continue to support TUI Group’s single use plastics reduction target by 250 million pieces by 2020
  • Launching new sustainable amenity kits on long-haul flights this month
  • Onboard retail adds bracelet created from fishing nets

Holidaymakers travelling on all TUI airlines this summer will have seen significantly less plastic onboard as the leading holiday company announces the removal of over 26 million single-use plastics since 2018. Already amongst the most carbon-efficient airlines in the skies according to the 2018 atmosfair Airline Index*, this reduction is part of TUI Aviation’s commitment to make the onboard operation as sustainable as possible.

3.7 million pieces came from reducing plastic cutlery packs onboard. In addition, the amount of plastic coating on onboard headphones has been condensed and plastic bag wrapping from blankets replaced with a paper collar. The airlines also discontinued the use of plastic bags for onboard shopping.

Continuing to stay innovative the TUI airlines have redeveloped their children’s activity kits available on long haul routes. The activity kit will be housed inside a paper envelope rather than a plastic wrap for more environmentally friendly waste reduction. The kits include a mix of fun games to entertain children from three to 10 years, and feature eco-messaging, encouraging them to think about how they can help reduce plastic waste whilst on their holidays.

In addition to this, the airline has also created a new sustainable amenity kit that is encased in a re-usable bag which is made from recycled plastic PET bottles. Not only is it utilising recycled plastic for the kits, but it has also removed one million additional pieces of single-use plastic from the kits. Where packaging is still needed for hygiene reasons, this has been achieved using FSC certified paper. This product has set the precedent for working closer with all suppliers to minimise the packaging that is used across many other products.

These implementations all stem from all TUI’s airlines continued commitment to reduce single-use plastics by 40 million pieces by 2020 which will contribute to TUI’s overall commitment by reducing 250 million pieces by 2020. Initiatives include removing 112 million single-use plastic items from hotels, launching ‘plastic reduction guidelines’ for hotels and TUI Cruise’s ambitious wasteless plastic reduction programme. This is in line with TUI Group’s sustainability strategy ‘Better Holidays, Better World’. It includes four core pillars where TUI aims to advance sustainable tourism at scale within its own operations, along its value chain, across the wider industry and in communities where it operates.

“TUI is currently well positioned to deliver solutions making our holiday offers even more eco-friendly. We do operate a highly carbon-efficient aircraft fleet with our airlines taking the top spots in airline sustainability rankings. TUI Cruises and Hapag- Lloyd Cruises operate the most modern cruise fleets and we continue to modernize our fleet. Our hotels are committed to efficient operations and 81% of TUI Hotels & Resorts hold sustainability certifications. We won’t stop here, but will launch additional carbon and climate related initiatives within a new Sustainability Strategy 2020-2030”, said Thomas Ellerbeck, Member of the TUI Group Executive Committee responsible for sustainability.

“We are proud to be among the most carbon-efficient airlines in the skies and are committed to making our onboard operation as efficient and sustainable as we possibly can too. We have been working extremely hard to reduce plastic use on aircraft and have many other initiatives in place to reduce waste and integrate sustainable practices. We are proud of the progress we’ve made in the last year and continue to look at new and innovative ways for us to do much more in the future,” said Jill Nye, Director of Inflight Services for TUI Aviation.

She added that, “at the same time as pro-actively taking steps to close the loop on single-use plastics, we are always on the look-out for sustainably sourced products which we can feature as part of our onboard retail range. In Germany currently and in the UK from November, we list a ‘Bracenet’ which is a bracelet created from fishing nets that have been lost or deliberately sunk into our oceans. These ‘ghost nets’ can float for decades in our seas and are a deadly trap for many animals and wildlife. These nets are being salvaged, cleaned and crafted into bracelets with a proportion of proceeds going to Healthy Seas Organisation.”

*TUI Airways (UK) and TUI fly Germany ranked #1 and #4 most carbon-efficient airlines globally in the 2018 atmosfair Airline Index (an independent climate change organisation).

About TUI Group

TUI Group is the world’s leading integrated tourism group operating in more than 100 destinations worldwide. The company is headquartered in Germany. The TUI Group’s share is listed in the FTSE 250 index and in the German open market.

In financial year 2019, TUI Group recorded turnover of around €19bn and an operating result of €893m. The Group employs more than 70,000 people worldwide. TUI offers its 28 million customers, including 21 million customers in European national companies, integrated services from a single source. It covers the entire tourism value chain under one roof. This comprises more than 400 hotels and resorts with premium brands such as RIU, TUI Blue and Robinson as well as 18 cruise ships ranging from the MS Europa and MS Europa 2 luxury class vessels and expedition ships to the Mein Schiff fleet of TUI Cruises and the vessels of Marella Cruises in the UK. The Group also includes leading European tour operator brands, five airlines with 150 modern medium- and long-haul aircraft and 1,600 travel agencies. Apart from the expansion of its core business with hotels, cruises and destination activities, TUI is increasingly investing in digital platforms. The Group is transforming as a digital company.

Global responsibility for sustainable economic, ecological and social activity is a key feature of our corporate culture. TUI Care Foundation, initiated by TUI, promotes the positive effects of tourism, education and training as well as environmental and social standards with projects in 25 countries. It thus contributes to the development of the holiday destinations. TUI Care Foundation, operating around the world, initiates projects creating new opportunities for the next generation.