Make Holidays Greener with Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Theme

Make Holidays Greener (MHG) 2019 campaign has been launched by ABTA, encouraging holidaymakers and travel companies to 'Reduce, Reuse and Recycle'

MHG, which is run by ABTA – The Travel Association, in partnership with Travelife for Accommodation, encourages holidaymakers and the industry to create better places for locals to live in and better places for holidaymakers to visit.

Following MHG 2018’s ‘Say no to Plastic’ theme, ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ will continue to address the issue of plastics but also focus on the broader topic of waste management, including food waste.

ABTA has developed an infographic offering simple tips to help holidaymakers consider how they can ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ before they go on holiday, en-route, while they are away and when they get back home. ABTA is encouraging travel companies to use this as a way to help customers have a more positive social and environmental impact when they are on holiday. The infographic can be used as a poster in store or in resort, shared on social media or via travel companies’ websitesand is available to download.

The campaign, which runs from June 5 until the end of September, also provides holidaymakers with the opportunity to make a pledge to help make their holiday more sustainable. There are 15 pledges available, which cover all aspects of a holiday – from buying local goods to using local transport. There is also a new ‘Go meat free’ pledge – which reflects the increasing demand for meat-free options. Holidaymakers who register a pledge on the website between 5 June and 30 September 2019 will also be entered into a prize draw to win a carry-on travel bag.

Meanwhile, travel companies can get involved in a number of ways, from looking at recycling in destination, reducing food waste by working with suppliers, finding credible alternatives for single-use plastics or inviting customers in resort to help take part in green initiatives, such as beach clean-ups.

ABTA and Travelife for Accommodation will be supporting the industry throughout the campaign, offering advice and guidance. A campaign support pack is available and includes tips on how to engage customers, suggested social media activity and example case studies for inspiration. Travel companies who haven’t received it can contact [email protected] to sign up and request one.

Nikki White, ABTA’s Director of Destinations and Sustainability said: “This year’s campaign theme ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ highlights how holidaymakers and travel companies can each play their part in reducing their environmental impact.

“Whether it’s lending out holiday guides or inflatables to others at the end of a trip or carrying reusable water bottles and bags, there are a number of ways holidaymakers can make a real difference and our campaign provides the guidance they need to help their chosen destination continue to be enjoyed by future generations.

“Travel companies are also encouraged to make their customers aware of the campaign and may even consider creating their own activity, such as organising a clean-up operation for staff and customers to keep beaches, parks or neighbourhoods clean.”

The pledges are:

1.    Reduce, reuse and recycle
2.   Organise a holiday clean up
3.   Look for the Travelife logo – stay at a hotel that demonstrates care for the environment and its staff
4.   Respect animals
5.   Eat local produce and buy local goods
6.   Go meat free
7.   Protect biodiversity
8.   Respect local customs and talk to locals in their languages
9.   Protect children – support local community projects and refrain from giving money to begging children or visiting orphanages
10. Use local transport
11.  Switch off electrical devices in your accommodation when you’re not using them
12.  Reduce or offset your journey footprint
13.  Save water – reuse towels and take shorter showers
14.  Tell the world – tell the world about your positive holiday experiences
15.  Free choice – the chance to organise or suggest an activity specific to your holiday

ABTA Members, Travelife hotels and destinations have been looking at waste management as part of their wider sustainability strategy for some time now – working on issues such as reducing food waste, reducing single use plastic and promoting recycling.

ABTA’s sustainability programme, Better Places, supports Members to adopt the best sustainability policy that works for them – offering guidance and support on how businesses can seek to address the impacts of tourism.

For travel companies looking for further guidance on how to implement sustainable approaches across their business, ABTA’s ‘Delivering Sustainable Travel’ seminar on June 18 offers practical and up to date guidance, as well as advice on addressing the key supply chain risks. For more information or to sign up visit