Travellers Against Plastic is a non-profit organisation working with tour operators, accommodations and individual travellers to encourage all travellers to avoid using single-use plastics.
We've taken the TAP pledge to help our participants commit to reducing and avoiding using single-use plastics whilst travelling on each of our trips.
Across our treks, water provided will almost always be purified by your support team, from rivers and streams alongside the trail. Where this isn't possible, we encourage our participants to bring purifying kits or bottles with them (this is listed in your kit list, found in your Challenge Briefing Pack - and a helpful list of resources is below).
With regard to reusable bottles, in-country and in our UK and USA offices here at HQ, our team are committed to a low-plastic future. We do a huge amount of domestic and international travel ourselves, and we each use our own reusable bottles both at home and whilst travelling. We encourage you to do the same!
What you can do:
We all know that it's not always advisable drink the water in developing countries, because it might make us sick from any number of microscopic critters which could cause diarrhoea, abdominal cramps or more severe illness. Most people buy bottled water which has large environmental impacts as well as being more expensive. It can be difficult to adapt to the need to use less plastic, but here's why you should:
- To avoid creating a trail of plastic water bottles everywhere you go
- To ensure the safety and supply of your water
- To save money and time
TAP provide a helpful directory of resources and items which can be used to treat and store your water.
On the TAP website, you can also check out the sustainable travel checklist, to see how your current travel habits stack up to the dream sustainable traveller - and get great tips on how to improve your travel habits for the sake of the environment, oceans and air.
Why it's important:
1. Better for the environment
Plastic bottles are the most common types of plastic waste. Some 480,000,000,000 plastic bottles were sold globally in 2016. That is one million bottles per minute.
- 24 million gallons of oil are needed to produce a billion plastic bottles.
- Plastic bottles take 700 years to begin composting.
- 90% of the waste in the ocean is from plastic.
2. It's cheaper for you!
Bottled water can cost as much $10 per gallon - so for every bottle of water you buy, you are paying a huge premium for a product that is virtually free. If tap water cost the same as the cheapest bottled, average monthly water bills in the United States would come to $9,000!
4. Better for communities
Feeding the bottled water industry has taken a toll on wells from homes in rural communities by draining aquifers, lowering lake levels, and hurting wetlands.
Antimony is found in PET plastic bottles. In small doses can cause dizziness and depression; in larger doses it can cause nausea, vomiting and even death. This is increased by storage in heated areas. PET is made from crude oil, and PET bottles produce toxic emissions at rates of 100 times that of glass.