Adopting Sustainable Procurement in the Tourism Sector: Alternatives to Single-Use Plastics

For our second week in this awareness series about Sustainable Procurement, as part of our efforts to advocate sustainable tourism practices here in the Philippines, we’ll be highlighting the impacts of problematic Single-Use Plastics, or SUPs, and how to procure more sustainable alternatives to these materials.

Some of the impacts of SUPs on our environment are the following: 

In light of these factors, here are some recommended criteria that businesses can consider on their next purchase of sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics. 

However, in order to truly enhance the market for these alternatives, here are a few opportunities that the sector can maximize: 

  • Legislation from local government units is the primary enabler
  • Cost is the utmost priority for establishments
  • More customers are starting to demand the use of more sustainable alternatives to SUPs from hospitality establishments
  • With better regulatory framework and incentives coming from the government, a shift in both demand and supply can be expected 

Hotel establishments can also look to these tips for managers, procurers, staff and guests in reducing SUPs, from the TVC project’s Campaign to Phase Out Single Use Plastics, available in English, Tagalog, and Ilonggo. 

For a more practical guide in using more sustainable alternatives, you can also refer to the report, Addressing Pollution from Single-Use Plastic Products: A Life Cycle Approach, which was recently published by the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative earlier this year.  The report aims to educate tourism stakeholders and provide evidence-based guidance for decision-making to address pollution from single-use plastic products. Key messages and recommendations are presented for the following single-use plastic products: bottles, cups, bags, take-away food packaging and tableware. 

You can learn more about recommended sustainability criteria for selected product groups in the report Local Market Readiness Analysis for Sustainable Procurement of Selected Products in the Philippine Hospitality Sector, written by Strategia Development Research Institute, Inc. and commissioned by PCEPSDI in 2019. 

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