During the busy tourist season, marine litter in the Mediterranean region increases by up to 40 per cent which has a great irony since eight out of ten tourists travel to coastal areas wishing to unwind on sandy beaches with crystal clear water while enjoying the beauty of natural wildlife.
According to the Global Tourism Plastic Initiative, alongside the 8 million tonnes of plastic that enter the ocean every year, 300 million tonnes of new plastic is created annually, utilizing non-renewable resources such as oil, gas and coal, and contributing to climate change. If growth in plastic production and incineration continue, cumulative emissions by 2050 will make up between 10 and 13 per cent of the total remaining global carbon budget. As a result, the implications of plastic overconsumption extend even further than the litter that is visible in the ocean.
From polluters to fixers: Global Tourism Plastics Initiative
The plastic problem can only be solved with the active collaboration of stakeholders in the tourism industry, including moving away from single-use plastics, reducing consumption of unnecessary plastics, and moving towards circularity through better recycling and re-using schemes.