Travel with love

Plastic pollution: sustainability begins at home

Imagine enjoying a cocktail at sunset by the sea, exploring coral reefs while scuba diving or riding the waves in the Atlantic. These experiences are simply magnificent. Yet, there's a concern that unless we take immediate action, they might become a distant memory. Plastic pollution is a pressing global issue, creating havoc in our oceans, and impacting marine life, ecosystems, and coastal communities.

Approximately 13 million tons of plastic find their way into the ocean each year [1]. If this trend continues, there will be more plastic than fishes in the seas (by weight) by 2050 [2].

Fortunately, there are numerous ways to make more sustainable choices while travelling and in everyday life without drastically altering our habits. We can still explore exotic places and create unforgettable memories while being mindful of our impact.

The power of personal choices, anywhere, anytime

As travellers, we hold a unique position to reduce plastic waste. Considering that we  produce over 400 million tons of plastic globally each year, and even consume around 5g of plastic each month (equivalent to the weight of a credit card!) [3], our choices have a significant influence.

We can make positive contributions while discovering new places and cultures without compromising our well-deserved holidays.

This responsibility extends beyond vacations to our daily lives. Plastic from our homes finds its way to the oceans through rivers, affecting various aquatic environments and species. Changing our habits and adopting a more conscious lifestyle is imperative to halt this process and preserve our planet.

Our footprint matters: reduce plastic waste

Every choice we make, from booking our trip to the end of our holiday, impacts the environment. But do we ever consider this? Planning is crucial to minimise our travel footprint.

Selecting accommodation, transport, and activities with eco-friendly practices can significantly influence our carbon footprint. Seek structures and transport companies that share a commitment to the environment; some even offer tree-planting initiatives to offset travel emissions.

Our tip: Renting a bike while travelling can be a great eco-friendly way to explore a city while getting some exercise and immersing ourselves in the local culture too.

How to reduce your plastic footprint while travelling

While no one enjoys seeing a beach overrun by plastic waste, 80% of plastic litter originates from inland sources [4], while only the 20% comes from marine sources such as fishing nets, lines, ropes, and abandoned vessels [5]. This underscores the pivotal role of our daily life choices in addressing the issue, even when we’re not travelling.

Incorporating sustainability into our daily activities, even seemingly mundane ones like grocery shopping, is straightforward with the "5R rule." The 5R rule stands for refuse, reduce, reuse, repair, and recycle, offering a simple way to shape our habits and significantly decrease waste.

All the responsible and sustainable behaviours that we have at home, can come with us on holiday too. For example, we can always carry reusable water bottles and a tote bag as we do everyday in the office, and sort plastic waste according to local guidelines to ensure efficient recycling like we do in homes. Also, better don't rely on disposable hotel toiletries during the holiday to discourage the use of single-use plastics.

Over 30% of all plastics produced worldwide are single-use packaging [6], and their impact on the environment is substantial, considering that only 30% of this plastic waste is recycled. Instead, it’s way better to bring travel-size products from home.

Our tip: We always need to be informed about different types of plastic and to know how to recycle them properly.

Support like a local: sustainable tourism policies

When travelling, taking care of the places we visit: living as a local is the best way to enjoy a holiday and when it comes to act sustainably it’s the very same thing. Taking care of the places we’re enjoying and exploring and leaving them more beautiful than we found them, it’s not only responsible, but a true act of love for our planet.

As we explore the world, we need to consider experiences that align with sustainable tourism. Engaging with local communities and organisations dedicated to reducing plastic pollution can enrich our journey. These initiatives help protect the environment and provide us with unique and meaningful travel experiences.

It’s important to bring a little container or a bag to store the waste, especially when we’re at the beach or exploring the great outdoors. Make sure to get informed about local guidelines and recycle accordingly.

Who would ever leave plastic packages or cigarettes behind? Unfortunately, many people do, but not only does plastic never degrade completely, but its microparticles can be found everywhere, from the deepest ocean floors to our bodies. What's more, a single cigarette butt carelessly discarded can pollute up to 500 litres of groundwater.

In Bali, the local authorities had to take action against plastic pollution in the oceans as the beaches were overwhelmed with plastic litter, flushed by river systems and then washed back up by the ocean on the shore. As part of a campaign to stop this waste, Bali prohibited plastic bags and straws and provided a network of spring water dispensers where it is possible to fill up reusable bottles instead of letting more plastic end up in the ocean [7].

Our tip: You could make a difference by dedicating a couple of hours to activities like Clean Up Days while on holiday.

Our commitment at

At, we understand the gravity of plastic contamination in our environment and have taken action to raise awareness and make a tangible difference In 2022, we launched the Ocean & River Protection initiative - our year-long project. This was a multi-city event format that continued in 2023 as well, in the European cities where we have our offices such as in Paris, where we cleaned up the Seine’s riverbank, Munich, Barcelona, Bangalore, Madrid, San Remo (Italy), London and Chiasso (Switzerland).

Volunteering for change

Employees from our main offices actively participated in clean-up activities, contributing to their communities and creating awareness about plastic littering. The initiative involved 314 volunteering colleagues who collected 108 trash bags, equivalent to about 4,300 litres of waste. In Bangalore, 350 kg of dry and 180 kg of wet waste were disposed of responsibly - which combined weighed as much as a mini caravan.

The types of waste collected reflect the alarming scale of the plastic littering problem, including about 18,500 tobacco products with filters which correspond to almost 19 kg of littering, approximately 2,600 pieces of plastic (including bottles, food packaging, wrappers and balloons), and about 2,000 bottle caps.

On top of this, we launched a 2-hour online masterclass on plastic pollution, which was made accessible to all our employees, through our training platform, to give our colleagues working remotely the opportunity to join the project.

Also, our website is packed with tips, reports and resources on where to learn how to become more sustainable while travelling or talk about the importance of biodiversity in oceans and all the other breath-taking places on our travel bucket list.

By taking these practical steps and embracing sustainable choices, travellers can become a driving force in the fight against plastic pollution. Our actions can inspire change, protect our oceans, and ensure a brighter future for future generations.

Sign up to our newsletter

We'll send you exclusive offers and sneak peeks of our best deals,
plus travel tips and the latest advice on where you can go.