Tackle Waste & Pollution

Tackle Waste & Pollution

Lessen the amount of waste and pollution resulting from tourism

As an industry prone to overconsumption, tourism consequently produces a substantial amount of waste and pollution. In some places, tourists produce up to twice as much waste as local residents. This can put incredible strain on local waste management systems, causing landfills and sewage plants to overflow. Another major issue is the improper disposal of trash, raw sewage, and toxic chemicals by tourists, hotels, cruise ships, and others. In addition to making destinations less attractive, this litter and pollution can have detrimental effects on local people and wildlife. 

While tourism contributes to our global waste problem, the industry can also be part of the solution. Tourism has the potential to build awareness around the issues and spur waste infrastructure improvements. If we want to preserve the beauty and health of the places we visit, we must take action to reduce the amount of waste we create and practice proper disposal.

The Issues

Certain types of waste issues are more prevalent in tourism and pose a challenge for destinations to manage

Plastic Pollution
Tourism generates a large amount of single-use plastic waste which poses a problem for local disposal systems and environments.

Plastic Pollution

Food Waste
An often overlooked type of waste, food waste is particularly a problem within the tourism and hospitality industry.

Food Waste

Water Pollution
Improper disposal of sewage and other toxic chemicals by the tourism industry pollutes our waterways and oceans.

Water Pollution

Carbon Emissions
Air travel and other travel activities generate carbon emissions and contribute to global climate change.

Carbon Emissions

What's At Stake

Waste and pollution have far-reaching impacts on environments, wildlife, visitors, and communities



Litter along coasts transforms beaches into less desirable destinations and may wash out to sea.
Oceans & Reefs

Oceans & Reefs

Ocean debris and untreated sewage pose a grave threat to marine animals who may get entangled, sick, or die.
Community Wellbeing

Community Wellbeing

Pollution can have serious health effects and diminish the quality of life of local residents.
Scenic Areas

Scenic Areas

Trash that is left behind in parks and along trails detracts from the natural beauty of scenic areas.


Contaminated freshwater can cause health problems, poison wildlife, and throw off ecosystem balance.

What We're Doing

Clean & Healthy Destinations

We help destinations improve how they manage waste to create cleaner and healthier environments for residents and visitors alike. 

Reusable water bottle

Eco-Friendly Travel

We inspire individuals to adopt eco-friendly travel habits that create less waste and to dispose of their garbage properly so that they leave no trace.

No plastic bags

Zero Waste Business

We help tourism businesses adopt sustainable practices and improve their waste management processes to minimize the amount of trash and pollution they produce.

Citizen Science

We’re developing a citizen science tool that will empower travelers and locals to contribute to conservation by reporting the marine pollution they see. 

Our Projects

  • Mesoamerican Reef

    Mesoamerican Reef

    Combatting water pollution affecting communities in the Riviera Maya and the Mesoamerican Reef

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  • Torres del Paine

    Torres del Paine

    Installing and expanding the first recycling system in Puerto Natales, the gateway town to Torres del Paine National Park

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  • Pacific Islands

    Pacific Islands

    Working towards more sustainable consumption and production by the tourism industry in Fiji and Samoa

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  • Jamaica


    Inspiring personal responsibility and increasing waste management resources in Falmouth

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  • Dominica


    Improving waste management in the Kalinago Territory and implementing a composting system for tourism businesses

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  • Barbados


    Increasing waste separation at Barbados’ ports of entry and major tourist attractions

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  • St. Kitts

    St. Kitts

    Improving waste management and reduction in St. Kitts

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  • Samoa


    Encouraging sustainable business practices and enhancing support of local waste mangement initiatives

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Did You Know?

Plastic bottle ocean icon white

Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastic enters our oceans and kills 100,000 marine animals

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Roughly one-third of the world’s food gets lost or wasted each year

Sewage water pollution icon white

More than 80% of wastewater is discharged into rivers or sea without removing pollution


Tourism is responsible for roughly 8% of the world’s carbon emissions

Protect the Places You Love

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