IAATO Releases New Guidelines on Single-Use Plastics

Antarctica Iceberg

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 Antarctica, according to a statement. 

The new guidelines will be available to visitors this summer. IAATO member operators were encouraged to distribute the guidelines, presented at the meeting, to guests as part of their pre-departure packs.

Amanda Lynnes, IAATO 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.

“Visitors to Antarctica can’t fail to be inspired by its pristine landscape and often ask our member operators what they can do to support our environmental efforts. We are thrilled to be able to create something that supports the involvement of our guests in plastic-reduction both during their expedition and at home and to share this exciting news on World Environment Day, the United Nations day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment.

“While the individual steps within the new guidelines may seem small, they have the potential to create a big impact on our environment.”

 The new guidelines are part of IAATO’s joint UN Environment Clean Seas Project with northern counterpart the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators, aimed at significantly reducing single-use plastic during Antarctic and Arctic operations as well as enhancing guest in involvement in plastic reduction both during their expeditions and at home.

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