Low-cost pioneer Ryanair leads the way in the battle to tackle plastic pollution, explains Euromonitor International’s new study

Low-cost pioneer Ryanair leads the way in the battle to tackle plastic pollution, explains Euromonitor International’s new study

Budget airline Ryanair is taking the environmental lead in the travel industry, with a pledge to be plastic-free by 2023, reveals the report “Megatrends Shaping the Future of Travel” from global market research provider, Euromonitor International released at World Travel Market London released today (Tuesday 6 November).

Euromonitor International’s research team found that many travel companies – from hotels to airlines – are taking action against single-use plastics.

The new study highlighted Ryanair for its eco-credentials, as the no-frills giant says its environmental policy commits the airline to “a series of industry-leading environmental targets”.

It wants to remove non-recyclable plastics from its aircraft by 2023 and instead use biodegradable cups, wooden cutlery and paper packaging – and encourage passengers to bring their own cups, as some coffee shop chains do.

Caroline Bremner, Head of Travel at Euromonitor International, said: “Running a solid sustainability strategy can become a useful marketing tool for Ryanair.

“Improved customer experience is on Ryanair’s agenda and the airlines’ latest ambitions are testament to its goals to boost efficiency, embrace more ‘green’ sustainable practices, and in the process become known for more than just cheap flights.”

The Euromonitor International’s report said documentaries such as the BBC’s Blue Planet II series, and the Ocean Clean-up attempt to reduce the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’, have greatly increased awareness among consumers about the pollution caused by plastic waste.

In December 2017, 200 countries signed a United Nations Environment Programme resolution to tackle all forms of pollution and highlighted that unless action was taken “oceans would contain more plastic than fish”.

Euromonitor International’s travel consultant Wouter Geerts commented: “Straws have become arch-enemy number one. Many travel companies, including Alaska Airlines and American Airlines, Marriott, Hilton, AccorHotels and Hyatt, all have pledged to end the use of plastic straws.

“The race is now on to find the best alternative.”

She cited a US-based firm Loliware which has launched edible cups and Lolistraws – edible, hyper-compostable straws, which can be eaten or will biodegrade like banana peel.

WTM London’s Paul Nelson said: “The speed with which companies have pledged to tackle plastic waste has been remarkable.

“It was shortly after WTM 2017 that Blue Planet II brought the issue to the fore, and since then we’ve been impressed by the stance that our industry has taken.

“Several of our exhibitors and speakers at WTM are talking about single-use plastics and how the tourism sector can help the environment.”

He added: “We will host a debate on Monday 5 November called ‘Is the industry reducing the plastic pollution it causes?’

“Taking place in the UKI & International Inspiration Zone (TA190) it will explore what tourism businesses and destinations have done to address the challenge of waste plastic; look at the most effective strategies; and ask why more is not being done.

“It will be moderated by Harold Goodwin, WTM Responsible Tourism Advisor, and there will be expert speakers from the Seychelles Tourism Board; Incredible Oceans; Trucost; Travel Without Plastic; and Thomas Cook.”

Download your free copy of Euromonitor International’s “Megatrends Shaping the Future of Travel” report: http://bit.ly/emi-megatrends-travel


About World Travel Market

World Travel Market (WTM) portfolio comprises six leading B2B events across four continents, generating more than $7 billion of industry deals. The events are:


WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. About 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL London every November, generating about £3.1 billion of travel industry contracts. http://london.wtm.com/. Next event: 5-7 November 2018 – London.


Travel Forward is a new travel technology event co-located with WTM London 2018 and part of the WTM portfolio of events. The inaugural Travel Forward conference, exhibition and buyer programme will take place on 5–7 November 2018 at ExCeL London, showcasing next-generation technology for travel and hospitality. http://travelforward.wtm.com/.


WTM Latin America attracts about 9,000 senior executives and generates about US$374 million of new business. Taking place in Sao Paulo, Brazil, this show attracts a global audience to meet and shape the direction of the travel industry. More than 8,000 unique visitors attend the event to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry news. http://latinamerica.wtm.com/. Next event: 2-4 April 2019 – Sao Paulo.


WTM Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. Nearly 5,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors. http://africa.wtm.com/.

Next event: 10-12 April 2019 – Cape Town.


Arabian Travel Market is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2018 attracted almost 40,000 industry professionals, with representation from 141 countries over the four days. The 25th edition of ATM showcased over 2,500 exhibiting companies across 12 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre. To find out more, please visit: www.arabiantravelmarketwtm.com.

Next event: 28 April-1 May 2019 – Dubai.


About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events business, enhancing the power of face-to-face through data and digital tools at more than 500 events a year, in more than 43 countries, attracting more than seven million participants. Reed’s events are held in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 41 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.


About Reed Travel Exhibitions

Reed Travel Exhibitions is the world’s leading travel and tourism events organiser with a growing portfolio of more than 22 international travel and tourism trade events in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Our events are market leaders in their sectors, whether they are global and regional leisure travel trade events, or specialist events for meetings, incentives, conference, events (MICE) industry, business travel, luxury travel, travel technology as well as golf, spa and ski travel. We have more than 35 years’ experience in organising world-leading travel exhibitions.


More information, please contact:

Paul Nelson – WTM Portfolio PR Manager

E: paul.nelson@reedexpo.co.uk

T: +44 (0)20 8910 7032/ M: +44 (0)79 1955 5510

Natalia Hartmann – WTM Portfolio PR Executive

E: natalia.hartmann@reedexpo.co.uk

T: +44 (0)20 8439 5535/ M: +44 (0)74 0336 7331


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World Travel Market brings the travel industry together through world leading events, content and digital tools, that make it easier for you to find personal and business opportunities and do more effective business.

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