Guiding Principle #9:

Close the loop on resources

When post-pandemic safety allows, turn away from the use of disposable plastics by tourism businesses, and transition to circular resource use.

Tourism should lead other sectors towards a circular economy. Pollution and waste are damaging to the environment, and deplete resources such as land, water, food, and energy which are often already scarce (e.g. Islands), and there may be limited or no infrastructure for recycling and waste management.

A real-life example: Refill Not Landfill is a global campaign to reduce single-use plastic drinking bottles and other single-use plastic waste. Refill Not Landfill aims to reduce the millions of plastic water bottles discarded each year by encouraging the use of reusable drinking bottles, replacing millions of single-use plastic water bottles, and offering free water refill stations at participating businesses and partners around the world.

The questions we should ask to further achieve this principle:

  • What is contributing to the carbon footprint of our operations? Are we measuring it?

  • How can we reduce our reliance on fossil fuels?

  • How can we better prepare for climate change impacts and build community resilience?

  • Are we offsetting the emissions that we can’t reduce?

  • Are we raising climate awareness among tourists and local communities?

  • Are we fostering clean energy innovation?

Further resources:

GSTC Destination Criteria
SECTION D: Environmental sustainability

 D(c) Management of waste and emissions 

   D9 Solid waste