The Australian Government is supporting a more sustainable and resilient future for Pacific tourism through a new single-use plastic standards and certification program.
The partnership between the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) was announced in October during the Pacific Sustainable Tourism Leadership Summit, held in Tahiti, French Polynesia.
The new program will help tourism business reduce their use of single-use plastics. It will promote responsible tourism practices, providing information on single-use plastics and alternative products to business operators including:
- food and beverage
- tour operators
- event management
- cruise and airline businesses.
The efforts are part of the Australian Government-funded Pacific Ocean Litter Project (POLP), which aims to reduce the volume of single-use plastics ending up as marine litter in Pacific coastal environments.
Through the partnership, SPREP will collaborate with the SPTO to support the research, design, development, implementation, and monitoring of the program.
The development phase will into account international frameworks, adapting them to the unique Pacific context, while also incorporating lessons learned from existing regional programmes.
The theme of this year's summit, "Co-Creating Resilient Destinations," provided a platform for Pacific tourism stakeholders to connect and exchange insights on the region's journey towards sustainable and regenerative tourism.
POLP held a side event which focussed on role of the tourism industry in helping address the issue of single-use plastic litter in the coastal marine environments of Pacific Island countries.
The Pacific Ocean Litter Project (POLP) is a $16 million Australian Government funded initiative that is supporting the phase-out of specific types of single-use plastics from land-based sources, including household litter and tourism waste.