Seattle, WA – Travelers Against Plastic ( TAP) is celebrating its first anniversary on World Water Day, March 22nd, drawing attention to the negative impacts of disposable plastic water bottles, by hosting a contest and an industry training on how to travel prepared to clean your own water.
TAP was founded by Crooked Trails and Wildland Adventures, two Seattle based adventure travel companies. The TAP Campaign’s vision is to catalyze a global movement resulting in the near-elimination of travelers’ and the tourism and hospitality industry’s dependence on plastic water bottles.
Why? 1-Health; chemicals such as antimony (a known endocrine disruptor) are found in PET bottles; 2- Environment; to make one bottle of plastic water takes the 3 bottles of water. In the US alone: making those bottles takes more than 1.5 million barrels of oil, every year, enough to fuel 100,000 American cars for a year. 3- Cost; bottled water costs more than gasoline, for a virtually free product.
“Helping travelers avoid the scourge of plastic bottles is one of the foremost obligations we have as tour operators and hoteliers, and one of the easiest things we can do to reduce our environmental impact,” says Kurt Kutay, founder and president of Wildland Adventures.
This year for World Water Day, TAP is throwing a contest to get as many people as possible aware of the issue and to pledge their support. On World Water Day they will choose at random a winner from the pledgers to win a new GRAYL water filtration cup. GRAYL is a Seattle startup on a mission to change the way the world drinks water. Their Water Filtration Cup filters water on the go in stainless steel, and works like a coffee press- simply fill and press. Later that same week, on March 26, 2014, TAP is hosting the Adventure Travel Trade Associations’ “AdventureConnect” event for to share the latest techniques for water filtration and purification at the Seattle Schooner Exact Brewing Company, 3901 1st Avenue South Seattle, WA.
Since its launch a year ago, TAP has garnered accolades from travelers, the tourism industry and environmentalists. Over 350 people have made the TAP pledge and over 35 operators have pledged to help their clients learn to travel prepared to clean their own water as well. The TAP Crew is hoping to up those numbers to over 400 people, and up to 45 operators pledged by World Water Day.
“The response has been very positive. Most operators recognize plastic water bottles are a problem, but few know how to deal with it. TAP is here to educate operators, lodges and travelers alike about how easy it is to avoid disposable plastic water bottles, ` says Chris Mackay of Crooked Trails. MacKay has travelled extensively this past year, promoting TAP. Her presentation in Kenya last fall for the Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference was to a standing room only crowd.
“As travelers we can all be part of the solution,” says Costas Christ, Editor at Large for National Geographic Traveler. “Do everything you can to stop using disposable plastic water bottles when you travel. Bring your own water filter, buy local drinking water in recyclable glass bottles, and say no to plastic bags when you are shopping in marketplaces. We can help prevent more environmentally damaging and senseless waste from throwaway plastic in the places we love to visit.”