5 June 2019

Reducing single-use plastics along the Red Sea

In June 2019, a new plastic reduction guideline will take effect along the Red Sea. In order to stem the tide of plastic waste in Egypt, single-use plastic bags, plates, cups and cutlery will be banned, the Governor of Egypt’s Red Sea province, Ahmed Abdallah, has announced. However, what are the initiatives already launched by TUI to avoid and reduce the amount of plastic waste?

In the framework of TUI’s “Better Holidays, Better World” sustainability strategy, the world’s leading tourism group has been actively committed to promoting sustainability in tourism for many years and has delivered substantial progress. TUI’s goal is to reduce plastics consumption in its hotels, planes and cruise ships by 250 million items by next year. To date, the TUI has already saved 140 million individual items across the Group. 

Environmental protection is key priority in TUI’s holiday clubs

ROBINSON Club Soma Bay in Egypt has already launched many initiatives to save huge amounts of plastics. Examples include the decision not to use plastic bags in waste bins any longer. Laundry plastic bags have been replaced by reusable cotton bags. In future, single-use shampoo tubes will be replaced by refillable shampoo dispensers, plastic cups will be replaced by cardboard cups, plastic straws have been replaced by paper straws, and plastic stirrers will be replaced by wooden stirrers. The club also carries out regular beach and underwater clean-up campaigns with the involvement of holidaymakers. Scuba-diving guests, for instance, collect plastic waste along various reefs in Soma Bay and attach broken coral fragments to racks to ensure they will be washed by nutrient-rich, less polluted water and promote regeneration.

TUI MAGIC LIFE Kalawy Club in Egypt is also continually working towards the reduction and avoidance of single-use plastics. Like all other TUI MAGIC LIFE clubs, the resort banned the use of plastic straws last year. Ilgin Oya Yavuz, General Manager at Kalawy Club, explains: “On the Red Sea, we experience this unique and fantastic underwater world every day, and it has to be protected. We are seeking to raise the awareness of our employees and guests for this topic and do without plastics as best we can. With beach and underwater clean-up campaigns, we are rendering our contribution to ensure that this part of our Planet will remain clean.”

The club continues to work towards an effective solution to replace plastic water bottles. In its search for appropriate alternatives for this single-use product, one of the key challenges relates to the club’s high hygiene standards. However, a first step taken is to consistently separate waste for reuse and recycling purposes. “In our club, we have consistently separated waste according to different categories such as plastic, glass, paper, metal and food for many years. In Egypt, many people create a livelihood from manual waste separation. Through our pre-sorting, we support the reuse and recycling loop,” says Heinart Giebel, Environment Manager at the ROBINSON Club.

TUI Group is aware of the challenges resulting from single-use plastics for the tourism sector and recognises that we all have to assume responsibility to reduce the use of such items, in particular as more environmentally friendly alternatives are now more easily available. For TUI’s “Plastic Reduction Guidelines for Hotels“, available in various languages, please click here