Travelers against Plastic (TAP) celebrated its 2nd year by honoring World Water Day on March 22 at the new Adventure HUB in Seattle. The event was in conjunction with ATTA AdventureConnect and hosted by Crooked Trails, Wildland Adventures and Evergreen Escapes (three Seattle-based tour operators).
“It’s been an exciting year at TAP,” says co-founder Chris Mackay. “We have garnered a great deal of attention for our efforts to eliminate disposable plastic water bottles from the world of travel. It’s been inspiring to receive stories from operators around the world as they discuss their challenges and successes with regards to making to switch and getting rid of plastic.”
So far, 495 individuals have signed TAP’s pledge to start carrying their own reusable containers and clean their own water when they travel, and 130 operators from places like Russia, Venezuela, Namibia, Nepal, Chile, Indonesia and Peru have signed on.
TAP recently switched from Kleen Kanteen to Liberty Bottles. “Why did we switch?” asks Mackay, “The main reason is that we wanted to really walk our talk when it came to sustainability and Liberty is made in a zero-waste facility.”
Liberty Bottles are made in the USA (all other steel and aluminum bottles are made in China). Stacie Able from Liberty Bottles attended the event to share the process they use to make bottles. They have a strong partnership with UPS to reduce their carbon footprint when shipping.
TAP orders fully customizable water bottles from Liberty Bottles. Any company or brand that wants a TAP bottle with their logo on it, can contact Chris Mackay to learn about the campaign. $0.50 from every bottle purchased does back to the TAP campaign. For individual travelers who want to support the campaign, TAP bottles will be for sale individually soon. Check the TAP website for that announcement.
Evergreen Escapes’ Barbara Joseph also spoke to the audience of AdventureConnect about their efforts as a local tour provider to eliminate plastics from their trips. She described how some clients think that drinking from a used water bottle is disgusting. But she said, their guides and staff explain it like this: “Well, the wine glass you are drinking from was also used before, like all the water and wine glasses you have used in restaurants. We sanitize them the same way after each use.” They also work hard to help clients understand their environmental ethics as an organization, which usually helps guests understand the bigger picture.