Zero-waste travel is becoming a reality

Monitoring Desk

The idea of zero-waste travel may sound like a load of rubbish. But with so many restaurants, stores and hotels going plastic-free and composting (there are enough to fill an entire book), zero-waste journeys are becoming a reality in the 2020s.

Zero waste is a concept that’s been around for a while but is new to the world of travel. Made popular by journalist Bea Johnson’s bestselling book, Zero Waste Home, it’s now a global movement. The idea is to make a home, community or even region free of disposable waste. It encourages less consumption and buying recyclable or biodegradable products, rather than sending waste to landfill sites, incinerators and our oceans. The basic guideline is adhering to the 5 Rs – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot. 

With growing numbers of people actively reducing their garbage at home, it’s not surprising that travelers are now looking for ways to keep their waste down when they’re away. Aside from offsetting your carbon footprint, zero waste is about taking the 5 Rs on the road. This is not always easy, so you’ll need to use the 6th R – a bit of Research. 

Some destinations, such as the idyllic Italian island of Capri, have already banned single-use plastics and the rest of the EU is due to follow in 2021. BoulderAustin and San Francisco are just some US cities that have signed up to become zero waste (or darn near) by 2040.

But is this enough? According to the UN, an estimated eight million tonnes of plastic waste enters our oceans every year. And the numbers get worse: one million seabirds die each year from ingesting plastic and one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute.
Of course, travelers alone are not to blame for the waste crisis. The soft drinks, food packaging and plastic production industries are due a shake-up, but our travel choices also matter. Here are some places where you can be part of the solution and not the problem.

Courtesy: Lonely Planet