Berlin, 18 April 2024

Giving waste a new life: TUI Care Foundation launches new Destination Zero Waste Programme in Tunisia

  • Destination Zero Waste Tunisia aims to address glass, plastic, and paper pollution, by collecting waste to upcycle it into high-quality products
  • Over the course of three years, workshops will be held to provide visitors with practical knowledge on how to create products out of recycled glass with their own hands

Berlin, 18 April 2024. Tourism in Tunisia generates significant amounts of solid waste during the high season, particularly in tourism-centred cities like Hammamet. In many cases, municipalities lack the means to ensure sustainable solid waste management. At present, only 4-7% of Tunisia's waste is recycled, which makes the waste management system inefficient and unsustainable. Generally, plastic waste is collected by ‘barbechas,’ who are part of the informal economy. However, they only collect the plastic that they can sell; all other plastic remains in the environment or ends up in landfills. Therefore, intervention from all stakeholders is needed to implement sustainable solutions.

Recycling and upcycling both reduce the amount of waste that goes to Tunisia’s landfills, but upcycling has a distinct benefit: It turns waste into a product of higher quality and therefore opens up new opportunities to create local added value and support local livelihoods. Upcycling is also a highly creative process and, in most cases, involves a wide variety of techniques and materials to create the finished product. Destination Zero Waste Tunisia, a TUI Care Foundation initiative in partnership with local organisation Indinya, will turn waste into higher quality products by developing a waste collection programme. Around 17,000 kg of plastic and glass waste will be upcycled into new products that can also be marketed to visitors and the tourism sector. As part of the project, 15 local businesses will also be engaged to create a collaboration platform to use and transform waste material.

To drive a change in mindset, Destination Zero Waste Tunisia will also raise awareness about the need for waste reduction and the opportunities for upcycling. Local and international tourists will be able to take part in sustainable tourism experiences created by the project. In addition, members of the local community will be trained to become zero-waste animators and ambassadors of waste reduction.

Destination Zero Waste Tunisia is a part of TUI Care Foundation’s global Destination Zero Waste programme, which inspires new ways to reduce and reuse waste in tourism destinations that create jobs and promote a circular economy. The programme is currently being rolled out in locations such as Zanzibar, Curacao, and Cyprus.

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