It’s holiday season!

You may have thought about how you can cut down your plastic footprint at work, or perhaps at home. But, what about when you travel? To help you out, we have used the SHiFT Platform to compile 7 solutions for a perfect plastic-free getaway.

What is the SHiFT platform?

There’s no silver bullet to solve the ocean plastic problem but there are hundreds of ways to tackle it. However, a big challenge for many people is knowing where to start.

That’s why, in 2020, eXXpedition partnered with global technology firm SAP to launch the online SHiFT platform. 

The SHiFT Platform allows you to sift through hundreds of impactful solutions, and find the ones that best fit you

Each solution card includes facts to help users better understand the problem itself, as well as the benefits and challenges of implementing those solutions and the impact they can make in doing so. 

Using the SHiFT platform, we have compiled a series of solutions to help minimise your holiday plastic-footprint! Whether you are a holiday maker, or a holiday goer, we think these 7 solution cards could be a great way to get you started.

1.Turn your hotel plastic free

At full capacity,  single 200-room 4* hotels can use 300,000 pieces of single-use plastic in a month. 

With more and more travellers around the world demanding a more sustainable experience from their accommodation, major hotel chains are responding by ditching travel-sized toiletries to reduce their plastic footprint.

Racing for the Oceans helps hotel groups eliminate single-use plastic by implementing alternative solutions that are economically, industrially and environmentally viable. They worked with the Opéra Liège to make it the first single-use plastic-free hotel in France.

Other international chains like the Marriott International are also following suit. The hotel chain’s recently expanded toiletry programme is set to prevent about 500 million tiny bottles from going to landfill annually.

Benefits of this SHiFT:

  • Reduces single-use plastic pollution and production
  • Increases long-term profitability for hospitality companies
  • Includes rebranded assets to communicate the transition to zero waste

Challenges of this SHiFT:

  • Requires changing operational processes and habits to bring internal teams onboard
  • Will need to work with local F&B producers.

So, what is your hotel doing to minimise plastic waste?

2. Use a recyclable wetsuit

In the UK alone, around 380 tonnes of old wetsuits end up in landfill every year.

That’s why surf brand Finisterre have teamed up with pioneers in the recycling industry to further explore the chemical recycling of old wetsuits into new ones. 

Throughout June, Finisterre have been collecting old wetsuits, and transforming them into new ocean-based accessories. 

Benefits of this SHiFT:

  • No compromise on effectiveness
  • Pioneering design-process approach of creating wetsuits that can be recycled and repurposed
  • Future plans for buy-back scheme for chemical recycling of traditional suits

Challenges of this SHiFT:

  • Traditional wetsuits are very difficult to recycle due to their composition
  • Relies on consumer returning the product (behaviour change)
  • Still in development

Finisterre are one step closer to achieving a fully circular wetsuit – so watch this space and keep your eyes peeled for their wetsuits-from-wetsuits launch. 

3. Listen to a podcast on ocean plastic

Looking to pass some time on the sun-bed, the plane, the taxi or the train?

Why not treat yourself to a podcast on ocean plastic.

Hearing both personal stories and expert opinions on plastic pollution is a really powerful way to engage new people in the movement. 

There are hundreds of podcasts available on the causes of and solutions to plastic pollution, ranging from the latest scientific findings focusing on key aspects of the issue to amazing tales of adventure and innovation. 

Benefits of this SHiFT:

  • ​​Great way to engage and learn about plastic pollution and how people around the world are working to solve it
  • Range of stories, personalities and information available, from mainstream to niche topics
  • Can be listened to anywhere on-the-go
  • Easily sharable to help spread awareness

Challenges of this SHiFT:

  • Not as visual as a film or documentary

Here are some recommendations from us, but there are hundreds to choose from across all Podcast streaming platforms. 

4. Use chewable toothpaste

This is a great plastic alternative for your washbag!

Instead of buying toothpaste in a single-use plastic tube, why not swap for chewable tablets instead. 

Better still, they are often sold in reusable, recyclable or biodegradable packaging!

1.5 billion toothpaste tubes are discarded globally every year. Reduce the plastic footprint of your washbag, and give tablets a go instead!

Benefits of this SHiFT:

  • Reduces single-use plastic use
  • Easy to use and hassel-free to travel with!
  • Lots of flavour and ingredient choice

Challenges of this SHiFT:

  • Can be more expensive than regular toothpaste
  • Some brands are tricky to source

If you think this solution could be for you, you can browse through some different brands here

5. Wear plant-based swimwear

Looking for a new piece of swimwear for your pool-side holiday?

Why not go with a plant-based cossie this year instead. Brands like Slo Active offer plant-based ocean ware, as an alternative to plastic-based neoprene swimwear.

By replacing neoprene with plant-based materials Slo Active reduces CO2 emissions by up to 75! 

Better still, with every purchase you make, one tree is planted and a donation is given to an ocean charity of your choice.

Benefits of this SHiFT:

  • Using a plant-based alternative to neoprene removes microfibres from the swimwear that can shed into the ocean
  • The manufacturing process has less CO2 emissions and uses less water
  • With every purchase made, a tree is planted and a donation goes to an ocean charity of your choice

Challenges of this SHiFT:

  • Limited styles to choose from
  • More expensive than mainstream swimwear

Find your holiday swimmers here

6. Attach a trash picker to your paddle

Are you a paddle board lover? Are you heading out on the water this holiday? If so, we think this solution card would be great for you! 

Purchase a Trash Picker ahead of your holidays, and attach it to your paddle. That way you can go out and have fun on the water, and remove some litter at the same time!

Starboard has created a Trash Picker made from recycled plastic that now comes standard with all watersport paddles. You can attach it to your paddle and easily remove litter items like floating plastic bags or packaging.

Benefits of this SHiFT:

  • Easy to catch plastic when out paddling
  • Encourages paddlers to think about collecting plastic in their environment
  • Simple to use / attach to your paddle

Challenges of this SHiFT:

  • Only works with items you can collect with a hook

If you like the sound of this solution card, click here to find out more about Starboard’s Trash Picker.

7. Use shampoo bars rather than miniatures 

Another one for you holiday washbag! Switch your shampoo bottle for a bar and reduce your need for single-use plastic.

On average, a shampoo bar will outlast two to three bottles of liquid shampoo. They save money, save space, and most importantly save plastic!

Benefits of this SHiFT:

  • Convenient for travel (no spills!)
  • Lots of choice
  • One bar lasts a long time

Challenges of this SHiFT:

  • You need to find the right one for your hair type
  • Can take hair some time to adjust and to refine your technique
  • Find out more about different brand options here.

With SHiFT, there are now hundreds of solutions available at just the click of your mouse. 

The Platform helps you to understand the crux of a problem and weigh up where your biggest opportunity to make an impact may be. 

We do not need everyone to do everything, but we do need everyone to do something. 

What will your next SHiFT be?

We encourage you to share your actions across social media to inspire others to join you in making a difference in their own lives, communities, businesses and wider world.