VLPF welcomes the Venice Tourism Plastic Smart Brochure to enhance the sustainable management of plastics

June 5, 2024
VLPF welcomes the Venice Tourism Plastic Smart Brochure to enhance the sustainable management of plastics

The Mediterranean Sea faces an environmental crisis as 229,000 tons of plastic waste are dumped into its waters annually, making it the sea with the highest concentration of microplastics ever recorded. In addition, over half of this plastic originates from three countries: Egypt (32%), Italy (15%), and Turkey (10%). Five of the ten most polluting cities of the Mediterranean are Italian: Rome, Milan, Turin, Palermo, and Genoa. 

These impressive statistics were detailed in a report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, “The Mediterranean: Mare Plasticum“. The report also highlighted that tourism makes this problem worse, with coastal waste increasing by up to 40% during peak tourist seasons.

In response, Venice, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world’s most visited cities, joined the WWF’s global “Plastic Smart Cities” initiative in 2021 to adopt practices that prevent, minimize, and manage plastic waste.

Indeed, under its Plastic Smart Cities initiative, Venice has launched an awareness campaign aimed at reducing single-use and unnecessary plastics within the tourism sector. This initiative includes the creation of the Venice Tourism Plastic Smart Brochure, developed and recently presented by WWF and the Venetian councillor for Environment. The brochure targets hoteliers and various tourist accommodation providers in Venice, aiming to inform and highlight practical steps for reducing their plastic footprint. 

This effort underscores Venice’s commitment to overcoming the challenges associated with plastic pollution through concrete actions and heightened awareness among those who host tourists in the city.

Moreover, Venice Lagoon Plastic Free has long promoted the necessity of more sustainable tourism to reduce visitors’ plastic footprints. For instance, in summer 2019, VLPF, in cooperation with the Association of Venetian Hoteliers (AVA), organized the “Plastic Reduction and Sustainability in the Hotel Industry” event at Hotel Ca’ Sagredo, bringing citizens, hoteliers, and municipal officials together to discuss sustainable practices and the reduction of single-use plastics in the Venetian hospitality sector.

Venice Lagoon Plastic Free is proud to have embarked on this awareness journey in the hospitality sector and to have contributed to the discussion for the development and approval of this handbook for Plastic Smart Tourism in Venice.