Peterborough’s Thomas Cook partners bag producer to recycle thousands of dumped holiday inflatables

Tour operator Thomas Cook has teamed up with a sustainable bag producer as it looks to recycle thousands of plastic inflatables dumped by holiday makers.

Wednesday, 19th June 2019, 10:07 am
A handbag from Wyatt and Jack made from recycled plastic inflatables abandoned by holiday makers.
A handbag from Wyatt and Jack made from recycled plastic inflatables abandoned by holiday makers.

The Peterborough-based tour operator says an estimated 51,000 inflatables are left behind at its resorts each summer.

Now Thomas Cook, of Westpoint, Lynch Wood, has partnered with sustainable bag brand Wyatt and Jack to transform discarded inflatables, lilos and children’s armbands into trendy new products, such as wash bags and totes.

A pilot version of the new initiative will start at the firm’s own-brand family hotel Sunwing Kalithea, in Rhodes, this summer.

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Alice Macandrew, Corporate Affairs Director, said: “We’ve found that 42 per cent of people say they recycle on holiday versus 77 per cent at home.

“And while just over half of us limit our use of disposable plastic at home, that drops to 35 per cent when we’re away.

“Our hope is by showing our commitment to do something, we will be able to influence others to work with us to cut radically the amount of plastic in the holiday industry for the benefit of our employees, the destinations we love and our customers.”

The action is part of a noplaceforplastic pledge unveiled last November by Thomas Cook, which is currengtly embroiled in a battle to return to profitability.

Thomas Cook has vowed to eliminate single-use plastic wherever possible throughout its supply chain.

The company, which employs about 1,000 people in Peterborough is committed to removing 70 million single-use plastics – equivalent to 3,500 suitcases full - within 12 months.

This will be from across its UK operations, its planes and own-brand hotels.

So far, 12 million items have been abolished, with a further 69 million identified by the end of this summer.

Ms Macandrew said: “As well as removing the big volume items like straws and stirrers, we are also rolling out biodegradable bags for our in-flight duty free purchases, replacing plastic cups with sugar cane versions in selected hotels as well as removing over one million items across our offices including plastic cutlery, sauce sachets and introducing bamboo coffee cups.”