Reducing plastic waste

By the end of 2018 TUI Group had removed 140 million pieces of single-use plastic. As part of our contribution to the global fight against plastic waste, we aim to raise this to 250 million by the end of 2020.

The alarming rise in plastic waste, particularly in the oceans, is one of our most serious global environmental threats. Worldwide, only 15 % of plastics are currently recycled* and around eight million tons of plastic waste
enters our oceans each year** – the equivalent of one garbage truck per minute***. By 2050, it is predicted there will be more plastic waste than fish in our oceans****.

Growing plastic pollution negatively impacts travel and tourism, particularly near the beaches and oceans so important to our destinations. Recognising the industry’s role, our focus is on preventing waste in the
first place by reducing single-use plastic from our operations. To date, a total of 140 million pieces were removed – and our aim is to raise this to 250 million pieces by 2020 through concerted efforts across our hotels,
cruise ships, airlines, destinations and offices.

This approach aligns with broader trends: in 2018 the European Parliament voted for a blanket ban on a range of single-use plastics including plastic straws, drink stirrers, plates, cutlery, cotton buds and balloon
sticks, with proposed reductions for other plastic items such as food packaging and drink containers. This is expected to come into effect by 2021 but TUI is acting now.

In 2018, TUI established a Group-wide plastic waste reduction workstream covering our airlines, cruise operations, hotels, destinations and markets. The aim is to accelerate progress by identifying, monitoring and reducing plastic waste and sharing best practice. Here are some highlights to date.

***World Economic Forum
****The Ellen MacArthur Foundation