Tourism with less ecological impact is possible in Barcelona

According to an estimate made by the Barcelona Metropolitan Area, the tourist activity of the city is responsible for 8% of the total waste generated.

To address this situation, Rezero launches today the Zero Waste BCN Tour campaign to encourage people visiting the city to not produce waste during their stay, and thus bring them closer to zero waste tourism.

July 9, 2020

Tourism in the city of Barcelona has grown exponentially and has risen by a factor of 4 since 1990, reaching in recent years 28 million tourists and hikers per year.

Currently, tourism implies a series of externalities and environmental impacts. In 2013, the global ecological footprint of this sector exceeded 4.5 billion metric tons of CO2 eq, representing 8% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. The main source of the ecological footprint is mobility through air transport. However, at local level, it causes a substantial increase of 8% in the city’s waste production. Tourist accommodation and food services are the main contributors, where food waste and packaging waste (trays and plastic cups, bottles, cans, containers, etc.) are the main streams, to which must be added the individual daily waste production of tourists on the street.

In recent years, the city has tried to boost environmentally friendly options. On one hand, in 2011 Barcelona became the first city in the world with the Biosphere certification, awarded by the Institute of Responsible Tourism in accordance with the criteria of the Global Council for Sustainable Tourism; and since last year, it has been promoting the tourism companies adherence to this certification. More than a hundred have already obtained the certification distinctive as entities committed to sustainable tourism. On the other hand, Barcelona has also an extensive sustainable social and commercial offer through the Mapa Barcelona + Sostenible, the shops with the Green Trade Distinction (Comerç Verd) and the Go Zero Waste App.

At a time when tourism in the city will be exceptional, Rezero, the spanish leading foundation in waste prevention, believes it is a good moment to turn the situation around and help city visitors to discover the Zero Waste lifestyle and to immerse in the most sustainable Barcelona, in order to benefit local activity without harming the environment or the citizens’ health.

To this end, the Zero Waste BCN Tour is born, a campaign that is now more than ever necessary to establish a conscious and waste-free tourism – or Zero Waste Tourism – in Barcelona.

The campaign has an online Interactive platform, a foldable map (which can be downloaded in the same platform or can be found in hotels and information points across Barcelona)-, ​​different audiovisual products starring an English-speaking girl who has lived in Barcelona for some years and shows visitors the options that Barcelona offers to adopt a zero waste stay and, finally, the possibility of purchasing a zero waste Bcn tour kit that contains reusable and ecological elements (water bottle, sunscreen , steel straw, reusable wrappers for snacks and sandwiches, etc.).

This project is supported by Barcelona Activa and benefits from the collaboration of Barcelona City Council through the Area of Ecology, Urbanism, Infrastructures and Mobility; the Area of Social and Solidarity Economy and the Area of Tourism. The project also counts with the collaboration of companies (Amapola Biocosmetics, Roll’eat, Cambio Lógico, Valira, Punts Volats, One Big Robot and martaamat.net), as well as the social movement that spreads and practices the zero waste lifestyle( Opcions, Vidas Sostenibles, Surfrider Barcelona, Zero Waste BCN, Youtuba, Go Zero Waste, Zero Waste Barcelona Network, ecounion i Posidonia Green Festival, among others).

Campaign materials can be found on the following link: