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Plastics Partnership Project

Plastic pollution is a global problem, with over 350 million tonnes of plastic produced each year and half of that is only used once before being discarded. While G Adventures has been working to reduce our plastic footprint for years, the greatest impact will happen with the support of our travellers, our suppliers, and our employees. That’s why we’ve launched the Plastics Partnership Project to eliminate as much single-use plastic on our tours as possible. We’re working with our accommodation partners to provide safe drinking water for refillable bottles wherever possible.

But this is only the beginning. Find out how you can help below.

We are calling on you — G Adventures staff, suppliers, and our travellers — to help make single-use plastics a thing of the past.

If you’ve seen excessive use of small single-use plastic on any G Adventures tour, let us know at plastics@gadventures.com and we will look into it.

Our Travellers

If you’re travelling with us (or with anyone), bring a reusable bottle with you. Don’t have one? We have great bottles in our Gear Shop, including ones that purify water. Check out more tips below.

Our Suppliers

We are hard at work collaborating with our suppliers and encouraging them to provide travellers with safe drinking water that doesn’t come in small single-use plastic bottles.

Our Partners

We’ve partnered with travel industry experts Travel Without Plastic to develop tools and resources to help reduce single-use plastic throughout our operations.

Our Staff

We are reducing plastic consumption in our offices and at the events we host around the world, using reusable mugs for tea and coffee, washable crockery and cutlery, and reusable water bottles.

Get yours in the
Gear Shop

How can you help?

Bring your own bottle

Help us bring down the number of single-use water bottles sold by making sure you bring a reusable bottle with you when you travel. We’re working to make safe drinking water available in as many G Adventures accommodations as possible and there are some great apps available that can help you find a refill spot in different countries around the world:

Tank the tiny toiletries

Miniature versions of your favourite cosmetics and toiletries are convenient for you, but not the planet. Bringing your own from home helps keep waste to a minimum, or you can travel light by swapping out heavy bottles for bars — and ditch plastic altogether.

Straws suck

Plastic straws are often put into drinks out of habit. Help drive change by making it clear that you don’t need a straw when you order. If you want to use one, why not take your own with you? There are loads of different reusable, plastic-free straws available online.

Remember your other reusables

Plastic-free eating on the go is easy when you take a set of reusable cutlery with you. Plus, a reusable coffee cup and tupperware box or other container will always come in handy. Don’t forget a reusable shopping bag for all those locally made souvenirs!

Plastic-free personal care

Did you know most cotton buds (swabs) and disposable wipes contain plastic? With just a little bit of research, you can easily find sustainable options using recycled paper, bamboo, or other biodegradable materials. Choose period products with a similar mentality, look for options without plastic applicators and minimal packaging, or switch to reusable options like washable, period-proof underwear or liners.

Eat local

When you eat local food you not only contribute to the local economy, but towards a lower environmental impact from how far the food has to travel. It’s also less likely to be followed by a chain of plastic packaging.

Frequently Asked Questions

G Adventures has put out a call to encourage everyone involved in travel to take action and play their part in reducing single-use plastics. It’s a huge, global problem but if we all work together to change our behaviour we can make a real difference. We are encouraging our suppliers, our staff, and our travellers to drive change.

We already take steps to reduce plastic in our global offices around the world through the use of washable, reusable mugs, crockery, cutlery, and glassware, rather than single-use plastic alternatives. We recognize we can do more on our tours, so in addition to a wider plastics reduction throughout our operations, we’ll be focussing particular effort on addressing one specific single-use item: small plastic water bottles.

Many of our travellers— particularly in those countries with readily available safe drinking water— are already using reusable bottles. With this campaign, we are encouraging everyone else to follow suit! By working with our accommodation partners to provide safe drinking water, asking our travellers to bring reusable bottles (like some of the great options available through our Gear Shop), and to buy and share bigger bottles of water where plastic is the only available option, we think we can all make a real difference. We could potentially save millions of bottles from ending up in a landfill.

Not yet! Getting rid of all single-use plastic is a huge challenge and one that most areas of the world aren't yet equipped for. But we’re going to do what we can. Our tours are made up of lots of different elements, provided by thousands of different suppliers around the world. This campaign to encourage our suppliers to stop offering single-use plastic bottles has started with our accommodation partners and we’re pleased to be able to say that 80% have agreed to make the change by the start of 2020. We’ll continue to work with the remaining 20% as well as our other partners to encourage further elimination of small single-use plastic bottles and other single-use plastics. In some locations, obtaining safe drinking water in plastic bottles is currently the only option. In these instances, we’re working with our CEOs, suppliers, and travellers to minimise the plastic used by buying large bottles wherever possible and recycling them where facilities exist.

Bringing your own water bottle is a great start. We’re working to make safe drinking water available in as many G Adventures accommodations as possible and there are some great apps to locate additional refill stations. You can also consider packing a reusable coffee cup, a reusable straw, and reusable cutlery for eating on the go. Plus, cut weight in your backpack and save plastic by switching big bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel for their equivalents in bar form. Bring at least one reusable shopping bag for all those great locally made souvenirs you’ll want to bring back from your travels, too. Finally, be aware of the need to reduce plastic when you travel and get into the habit of saying a polite “No thanks” when offered single-use plastic items like plastic bags, straws, and stirrers.

We’re looking at our entire operations to see where we can make changes. As we have 13 offices and run tours in over 100 countries, it’ll take some time to get to where we want to be: as close to zero single-use plastic use as possible.

Our offices already make efforts towards environmental responsibility (and reduction of single-use plastics) as a basic principle and the CEOs who lead our tours are passionate about environmental protection. But we plan to do more to influence our staff teams and reduce the amount of single-use plastics brought into our buildings.

We’ll also be:

  • Assessing the materials we wrap our brochures in and how we can make these as responsible as possible
  • Working to remove unnecessary single-use plastics from our events
  • Providing tools and support to help our suppliers cut plastic use
  • Working with others in the travel industry to raise awareness and share knowledge

Through our Ocean Health Fund (run by our non-profit partner Planeterra), G Adventures and our travellers are contributing to a number of initiatives to help wildlife and address plastic waste. These include Project Kaisei, an ocean cleanup initiative of the Ocean Voyages Institute. This project works to support North Pacific Gyre Marine Debris Recovery Plans. Our Ocean Health Fund has allowed for continued research, as well as the expansion of scale for the gyre’s cleanup and recovery efforts.

Good question! Unfortunately, it has — for the time being. Before COVID-19, 80% of our hotels and accommodations had agreed to work with us to reduce single use plastics on our tours by setting up water refill stations on site so travellers could use reusable bottles to secure safe potable drinking water instead of buying single-use plastic bottles.

As a result of enhanced health and sanitation measures around the world designed to limit the spread of the virus, however, the use of multi-serving containers has been largely reduced. In fact, as part of these measures, we’ve seen an increase in the use of single-use plastic containers, shampoo, soap, forks, knives and cellophane wrap as health authorities work to contain the spread of COVID-19 by limiting touch points.

Don’t despair! Where we can, and in accordance with our health and safety measures as part of our Travel with Confidence policy, we will continue our efforts to reduce the use of single-use plastics on tour. And you can still do your part to help! Instead of buying a single-use water bottle, consider buying a larger 2 litre bottle to use to refill your own bottle instead of multiple smaller ones. Bring your own reusable fork and knife (but don’t forget to put these in your checked luggage while flying!) and your own shampoo bar, instead of using a single-use bottle offered at your accommodation. These are only a few suggestions. All these “Big Small Things” will help us all stay on track to reduce the use of plastic and to keep our big, beautiful world healthy and strong.

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