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A plastic-free water bottle is ideal for eco-conscious travellers
25 May, 20212 minute read

Plastic not so fantastic

As part of our BE Better initiatives we are working hard to reduce the use of single-use plastics on our holidays and across the business.* Single-use plastics is a big issue when it comes to travel and one of the biggest environmental challenges of our time. Quite simply, plastics don’t break down or decompose. And these fragments become tiny microplastic particles that release toxins that can be found everywhere including in the water we drink and the air we breathe. It also has a huge detrimental effect to marine life and wildlife.

Close-up of a pile of plastic bottles

What is Titan doing to help?

As a travel company, we are aware that much of the single-use plastic used in tourism cannot be recycled which is why we have removed all single-use plastics from our river cruise ships – a move which has saved a staggering 20,000 plastic bottles per year.

And we see this is a promising step in the right direction and are determined to look at others way in which we can do more in the future. From fully recyclable packaging for our brochures  to offering refillable water bottles on our tours, we will continue to address the huge impact that plastics have on our planet and continue to review our plastics use throughout the business and on our holidays.

What else are Titan river cruise partners doing to remove single-use plastics?

Titan and our river cruise partners are continually trying to improve their plastic-use reduction. On board our river cruises MS Serenade I and MS River Discovery  plastic rubbish and laundry bags are no longer used in cabins, having been replaced with recyclable paper alternatives. There will also be refillable bottles of toiletries including soaps and shower gels, rather than individually bottled products.

In the bar, all plastic straws, stirrers, and cocktail sticks have been replaced with those made of paper or bamboo. While individual plastic portions of jams, honey and sauces at breakfast will no longer be available – instead diners can help themselves from refillable jars.

And of course, there will no longer be plastic bottles of water left in each cabin, instead customers will be given a Titan branded water bottle which can be refilled from the water stations on board the ships.

A woman fills a reusable bottle at a water fountain

How about Titan’s other holidays?

On our Asia tours including Images of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and Grand Tour of Asia, Titan branded water bottles are also being given to our customers. Meanwhile, we will provide on-coach refill points (while the coach is stationary) so that customers can refill their water bottles throughout the trip.

We will also be providing customers with the biodegradable wet tissues, instead of the plastic-wrap wet issues that are ubiquitous on most group tours. It’s a small step, but one we feel we can continue to build on and hopefully roll out to other tours in other destinations when we are able to do so.

Moving forward

At Titan we are keen to offer our customers a viable alternative to plastic products where we can and believe that most will make an eco-friendly choice while on holiday. We also want to make a difference closer to home – and would like to involve the Titan team in volunteering projects such as beach cleans and litter picking.

We are even getting rid of all paper documents and will soon be fully paperless - all booking confirmations, invoices and itineraries will be sent digitally, unless paper copies are specifically requested.

We are under no illusion that we still have a long way to go in terms of removing single-use plastics but we are confident that by making small steps we can eventually make big changes.

We’d love to know your thoughts on sustainable tourism and single-use plastics. Get in touch with us via Facebook and find out more about our BE Better programme here.

* COVID restrictions may have a short-term impact on operational requirements


Ting has a serious case of wanderlust. Having travelled to over 40 countries, it’s her mission in life to make her way through her ever-growing list. Her two young sons have also caught the travel bug, and recent trips have seen them making snow angels in Iceland while watching the Northern Lights, as well as walking alongside elephants in South Africa.

Ting | About the author

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