Hotels have a crucial part to play in #PlasticFreeTravel, helping guests continue their plastic-free journey while they’re away, or inspiring them to take their first break away from plastic.

Yet on many occasions hotels can be part of the plastic problem – offering toiletries in miniature plastic bottles, handing out plastic bottles of water in countries where the tap water is safe to drink or continuing to use plastic straws, cutlery or stirrers.

We would like to encourage the hotel industry locally to commit to four areas of best practice:

Being on track to meet the EU Single Use Plastic Directive by 2021

Signing up to the Refill app offering free tap water refills to guests & the public and not offering plastic bottled water in rooms

Using refillable dispensers in bathrooms (or committing to do so by 2021)

Inspiring guests/staff to prevent plastic pollution via marketing activity

‘It’s one step at a time, but we have a clear goal and we urge other hotel businesses to follow suit – the more of us who are willing to make a change will only make the transition to a single use plastic free world more attainable.’ Rosana Elias, Head of Sustainability, Whitbread

Get in touch with City to Sea’s Partnerships Manager, Rowen West-Henzell to find out how your hotel can join the growing #PlasticFreeTravel movement.

Eat seasonal and local

Thanks to

​The food and drink sector produces more than 30% of the European Union’s greenhouse gas emissions. This is partly due to transport, because we no longer eat local food in season. In the UK, about a quarter of all heavy-goods vehicle miles are to transport food.

And although only 1% of food is air-freighted, it accounts for 11% of the greenhouse gases produced by food transport – and air-freight of food is rapidly growing.

Overseas, clearing land for crops is the main cause of global deforestation, which we in the UK support when we eat those crops.

And within the UK, supermarket food travels via regional distribution centres, adding food miles. Instead of walking to the local shops on foot, people often drive. One in ten car journeys is for food shopping – the equivalent of half a million transatlantic flights a year.

A lot of scope to reduce our carbon footprints…

Eat less meat, especially beef

Thanks to

​It’s amazing – but cutting down on meat is one of the single biggest things you can do to help the planet. Meat and dairy farming produce 15% of greenhouse gases – more than all transport put together.

Meat production is hugely inefficient because animals use their feed not just to create meat and milk but to move around and keep warm. This is why feed for livestock uses up 30% of the world’s arable land. If we ditched meat and dairy, we could return 75% of the Earth’s farmland back to wilderness, and draw down huge amounts of carbon from the atmosphere.

Beef and dairy are particularly bad because cows belch methane, which has over 20 times the greenhouse effect of CO2. And demand for meat means deforestation to provide land for grazing and growing feed.

Fly less

Thanks to

​Flying causes 4% of our climate heating and it’s the fastest growing cause of climate change. There were 4.3 billion passenger-flights in 2018 and this is set to nearly double in the next 15 years. It is expected that 8.1 trillion miles will be flown in 2019. If aviation was a country, it would be the seventh worst polluter in the world – and worse than the entire UK economy.

Britons fly more than anyone else, but only 15% of us take 70% of the international flights. Whatever we do to be environmentally friendly in our lives, a single flight can completely wipe out an individual’s efforts for that year.

And a transatlantic round-trip causes enough global heating to melt 30 square feet of Arctic sea ice…

Use LED lightbulbs

Thanks to

​The new bulbs come on instantly, with a warm white light, save loads of energy, rarely need replacing, and pay for themselves. They’re a long way from the old twizzly compact fluorescents and use less power. And they should last 15–20 years with average usage.

They’re available in the standard screw or bayonet fitting and are about as big as the old incandescents – but much better for the planet.

We’re very keen on them. A study of the effects of introducing LEDs into households calculated a surprisingly hefty 7% reduction in peak electricity consumption.

Buy less stuff

Thanks to

​A lot of our individual carbon use comes from the transport and making of the physical goods we buy. And our discarded stuff is ending up in landfill and polluting the oceans – microplastics are everywhere, from inside sea-creatures at the bottom of the ocean floor, to mountain rain and arctic sea-ice, to inside our own bodies.

The UK is the 14th worst country for waste, producing 482kg per person per year.

So let’s buy fewer things. Avoid impulse buys, purchase second-hand or repair where you can.

The fashion industry’s toll on the planet has become especially shocking with the advent of ‘fast fashion’. Garment manufacture uses huge amounts of water, is enormously polluting, and produces as much greenhouse gas as Russia, at 10% of the global total. About 100 billion pieces of clothing are produced every year. This is set to nearly double in the next ten years.