IAATO sets guidelines to reduce plastic use in Antarctica

Antarctica - Emperor Penguins

The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) has pledged to turn the tide on plastics with new guidelines set to reduce single-use plastic use among visitors to the white continent.

The measures are part of the organisation’s commitment to the UN Environment Clean Seas campaign to reduce plastic use and waste across operations.

The new guidelines were announced on World Environment Day (5 June ) to encourage visitors to prepare for their journey — avoiding the use of disposable items, such as wet wipes, bottles and razors, cosmetics containing microbeads, and to continue environmental efforts on their return home.

The measures were introduced at IAATO’s annual meeting in Cape Town, South Africa on 3 May 2019.

“They can take those positive actions home with them”

Amanda Lynnes, IAATO’s head of environment and communications, said: “IAATO members have been striving to reduce plastic consumption across their operations, from eliminating plastic straws to adding special filters to onboard washing facilities to stop microplastics from ending up in waste water. These guidelines are a way of inviting guests to join our efforts, and include plenty of information on ways they can take those positive actions home with them.”

The new guidelines will be available to visitors this summer, ahead of the Antarctic travel season, which begins in October. IAATO member operators were encouraged to distribute the guidelines, presented at the meeting, to guests as part of their pre-departure packs.

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