Thomas Cook to Eliminate 70 Million Single-Use Plastics

Thomas Cook has launched a new campaign to eliminate single-use plastics from its flights and hotels in an effort to preserve the destinations its customers love so much.

The tour operator announced the “noplaceforplastic” campaign Monday, confirming its commitment to remove 70 million single-use plastics within the next 12 months.

Thomas Cook will start by doing away with plastic straws and stirrers and will establish a pilot in Rhodes to trial sustainable alternatives to plastic products. The company is also working with designers Wyatt and Jack to transform travelers’ broken and discarded plastic inflatables, lilos and children’s swimming armbands into bags and vacation accessories that can be used again.

“I think we can all now agree that there is far too much waste in our seas and oceans. The brutal fact is that eight million pieces of plastic pollution enter the oceans each day. This has devastating consequences, harming wildlife and washing up on the beaches we want to enjoy on holiday,” said Thomas Cook’s Group Corporate Affairs Director, Alice Macandrew, in a statement.

“Significantly for the travel industry, the amount of plastic litter going into the Mediterranean increases by 40 percent during the summer months, demonstrating a direct link between our industry and plastic pollution,” Macandrew added.

“When our customers notice litter on a beach, one-third of them report that it affects their decision whether to visit that destination again. At the same time, the majority tell us that they can do without many of the most common single-use plastic items.”

The company said more than 90 percent of its customers care about reducing plastic use. What’s more, two-thirds said they would be more likely to use a travel company which is serious about reducing plastic use.

“More than a fifth tell us that they are more likely to throw away plastic rather than recycle while they’re away from home. So, we want to raise awareness and find new ways to make it easier to breathe new life into tired plastics,” added Macandrew.

Thomas Cook’s campaign to move away from single-use plastics follows similar efforts from a plethora of other travel suppliers and destinations, including Delta Air Lines, Sandals Resorts, Jamaica, Dominica and Mexico’s Isla Holbox, among others.

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