Journal of Comparative Urban Law and Policy


This paper investigates the correlations between the tourism industry and plastic waste. It starts by evidencing that increase in tourism is likely to enhance the volume and improper destination of waste, including plastic, which has become a major environmental concern in touristic cities. The paper suggests that, on the other hand, negative environmental impact caused by plastic may disincentivize tourism, due to pollution in beaches and seas. As tourism grew in Portugal, the country experienced an increase in plastic waste and has taken measures to deal with the problem. Portugal passed federal legislation to ban single-use plastic tableware as of 2020. Companies, NGOs, and the government are also joining forces to reduce plastic waste and increase recycling initiatives. These are examples to follow as the European Union and internationally-recognized NGOs, such as WWF, put fighting plastic waste as one of the main goals to cities’ environmental sustainability in the forthcoming decades.

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