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Credit: “Instant Vacation: 2018’s best travel photos” on cnn.com – In this aerial photo taken on April 1, 2018, a group of children join a learning tour to experience tea-picking in Meitan County of Zunyi, southwest China’s Guizhou Province. (Xinhua/Yang Wenbin) (lmm)

Some gases, including carbon dioxide and methane, trap heat in the atmosphere, producing a “greenhouse effect,” and so make the planet warmer. The amount of greenhouse gases released by a particular activity is referred to as its “carbon footprint.”
The increasing carbon footprint of global tourism between 2009 and 2013 represents a 3% annual growth in emissions, according to University of Sydney researchers.
Their paper was published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Overall, the US tops the carbon footprint ranking, followed by China, Germany and India, Malik and her colleagues estimate. Domestic travel, which includes business travel, makes up a majority of the carbon footprints for each of these countries.
Read the full article here.
By Susan Scutti for CNN.
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Hawaii Passes Bill Banning Sunscreen That Can Harm Coral Reefs

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Recent studies have led to a global push for more reef-safe sunscreens. Credit: Chip Litherland for The New York Times

On May 1, Hawaii became the first state to pass a bill banning the sale of sunscreen containing chemicals believed to harm coral reefs.

The legislation prohibits the distribution of sunscreens containing the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate that scientists have foundcontributes to coral bleaching when washed off in the ocean. The Hawaii sunscreen bill now awaits the signature of the governor. The new rules will go into effect Jan. 1, 2021.

An estimated 14,000 tons of sunscreen is believed to be deposited in oceans annually with the greatest damage found in popular reef areas in Hawaii and the Caribbean.

Read the full article here.

By Elaine Glusac for The New York Times.

 

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Mr Pololikashvili presenting at a conference in Asturias, Spain / Credit: Green Matters

On January 1, 2018, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili took over as Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations agency responsible for promoting responsible, sustainable, and universally accessible tourism.

GM: Many tourism professionals see sustainable tourism as necessary for the survival of the planet. Can sustainable tourism really make a difference?

ZP: While tourism brings socioeconomic development and inclusive growth to millions of people worldwide, its mismanaged expansion can put fragile environments at risk, deplete natural resources, and disrupt the social structures and cultural values of host communities – the very elements that tourism greatly depends on.

Sustainability is therefore tourism’s fundamental challenge and should be regarded as a comprehensive condition of the sector as a whole. This entails meeting the rising demands of today’s tourists while safeguarding the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of destinations and communities worldwide.

Read the full interview with Zurab Pololikashvili here.

By Ethan Gelber for Green Matters

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Longtail boats in Surin Island, Thailand. Credit: Getty Images on cnbc.com

As part of a shift toward natural resource preservation, some major destinations — and the people who visit them — are becoming more attuned to the environmental impact of tourism.

 The shift is disrupting some of the traditions associated with tourist hotspots, and given rise to a trend where environmentally sustainable outcomes are emphasized over mere ‘experience’ vacationing.

The dynamic is taking place against a backdrop of a very busy market for international tourism, which the World Tourism Organization expects to climb to 1.8 billion by 2030. Since 2000, worldwide destination seeking has jumped by more than 50 percent, the organization notes.

Read the full article here and learn more about a trend that is underway, where environmentally sustainable outcomes are emphasized over mere ‘experience’ vacationing and how sustainability can improve our vacation and then affect us when we go home.

By Samantha Kummerer for CNBC.com

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Credit: unknown on Travel Weekly

Heathrow plans to cut and recycle all single-use coffee cups collected from more 20 outlets and lounges as part of a longer-term ambition to phase out single-use plastics.

The airport estimates that its 78 million annual passengers use more than 13.5 million disposable coffee cups.

The London hub has set a target to standardise and recycle all single-use coffee cups by the end of the year and continue efforts to completely rid staff areas of these cups.

Read the full article here.

By Phil Davies

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Useless plastics provide a few minutes of convenience, little utility, and are disposed of in large quantities. / © WWF-Singapore

A supermarket plastic bag serves its real purpose for 30 minutes, the duration of a short commute. In a drink, a straw is utilised for just 5 minutes. The use of a plastic stirrer is even more short-lived: all of 10 seconds.

These items have fleeting lifespans, but they outlive us by a long shot — 400 years, to be exact.

Left in our environment, plastics affect ocean health and biodiversity. The problem does not simply end there.

Read the full article on ‘useless plastic’ and more here.

By Kim Stengert for Medium.

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Credit: GLP Films

We’ve all seen it, a destination experiences a tragedy – natural disasters, war, economic problems… Then, global media outlets start to spread the word, bookings decrease and tourism drops dramatically. Negative and/or inaccurate press about the state of tourism economy in a destination can be a challenging uphill battle. However, marketing can very quickly provide solutions to change global traveler perceptions and help market that a destination is “open for business”.

So, how can you quickly and effectively get the message out to the global travel community that a destination is still “open for business” even if it is still a state of recovery? The key to changing perceptions is a strategic distribution plan driven by story-driven content marketing.

Read the full article on marketing resiliency here.

By Laura Knudson & Hilary Lewkowitz for GLP Films.

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Scientists accidentally create mutant enzyme that eats plastic bottles

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The breakthrough, spurred by the discovery of plastic-eating bugs at a Japanese dump, could help solve the global plastic pollution crisis

Scientists have created a mutant enzyme that breaks down plastic drinks bottles – by accident. The breakthrough could help solve the global plastic pollution crisis by enabling for the first time the full recycling of bottles.

The new research was spurred by the discovery in 2016 of the first bacterium that had naturally evolved to eat plastic, at a waste dump in Japan. Scientists have now revealed the detailed structure of the crucial enzyme produced by the bug.

The international team then tweaked the enzyme to see how it had evolved, but tests showed they had inadvertently made the molecule even better at breaking down the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic used for soft drink bottles. “What actually turned out was we improved the enzyme, which was a bit of a shock,” said Prof John McGeehan, at the University of Portsmouth, UK, who led the research. “It’s great and a real finding.”

Read the full article here.

By  for The Guardian.

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Credit: WM Media Room

For all the years I’ve worked in the recycling business for Waste Management, I can tell you that the global challenges our industry is facing these days are without precedent.

Simply put, many of the items we all want to recycle are getting hard to market economically. This impacts our business, the environment and the recycling industry as a whole.

Today, the average contamination rate among communities and businesses sits at around 25%. That means that roughly 1 in 4 items placed in a recycling container is actually not recyclable through curbside programs, and this creates enormous problems for the recycling economy.

Read the full article and find out more about the problems for the recycling economy here.

By Brent Bell for Waste Management Media Room.

 

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