28 January 2020

Sustainable holidays – Are hotels about to go plastic-free?

Sustainability at TUI Blue

The use and disposal of plastics currently are one of the major global challenges of our time, as the alarming increase in plastic waste poses one of the most severe environmental hazards, for example in the seas, causing negative consequences for the destinations and their ecosystems.

Over the past 60 years, plastics have become one of the most commonly used and produced materials in the world. The use of plastic items has to be reduced from the outset, and single-use plastic items have to be avoided. TUI’s flagship hotel brand TUI Blue has joined the anti-plastic fights, addressing the issue in the framework of its sustainability initiative. One of the ten measures of its “Sustainable Blue“ initiative sets out how to eliminate 60 million disposable plastic parts in the day-to-day operations of the hotels.

Apart from various measures including the provision of refillable drinking bottles and soap dispensers, further steps are being launched in order to reduce plastic insert in the hotels. The TUI Blue Rocador hotel in Mallorca, for instance, has switched to eco-friendly straws. As these straws are no longer made from plastics but primarily from corn and other plant starch, they are biodegradable. The guests themselves have also started to take action, engaging in various environmental initiatives such as beach clean-up. The hotel also participates in the “Plastic-free holidays on the Balearic Islands” initiative launched by sustainability initiative Futouris e.V.. The goal is to minimise the plastic footprint of tourism and implement an enhanced recycling concept.

TUI‘s “Plastic Reduction Guidelines for Hotels“, available in various languages, also provide tips for the hotels on how to eliminate plastics. Apart from the Guidelines, TUI offers Plastic Reduction Workshops in the hotels to support hoteliers in implementing the plastic reduction programmes. The goal is to cut down on the number of plastic items used and sensitise the tourism sector to the issue. Groupwide, TUI’s aim is to remove 250 million pieces of single-use plastic by 2020 through concerted efforts across our hotels, cruise ships, airlines, destinations and offices.