The “Refillution” marched into Vientiane on 8 November, to get the ball rolling on making the Lao capital an ASEAN Clean Tourist City within a year.
Luang Prabang Handle with Care Project Director Dr Hartmut Janus opened the “Laos Tourism Beats Plastic Pollution” campaign at an information reception at the Landmark Riverside Hotel.
“We want to send a strong signal to make Vientiane Capital an ASEAN Clean Tourist City within the next 12 months,” Dr Janus said.
The event, part of a two-day “ASEAN Clean Tourism Standard” workshop, spotlighted the global initiative, Refill My Bottle, with the aim of getting Vientiane tourism enterprises to commit to hosting a water refill station.
“We want to take action, and not just talk,” Dr Janus continued. “We want tourism enterprises to make a commitment to have a water refill station at their place of business to help stop plastic waste in Vientiane Capital.”
Refill My Bottle Project Manager Christine Go said the “Refillution” initiative aims to establish a refill network around the world.
“We currently have 850 refill stations in ASEAN,” she said, adding they are looking for a Vientiane “ambassador” to start a refill network in the capital.
Handle with Care backed the nation’s first city-wide Refill My Bottle network in Luang Prabang, where there are currently 48 refill stations.
Ms Go said Refill My Bottle is launching a mobile app in two weeks. It will assist users in finding a station as well as track their impact in terms of plastic not used.
GIZ spokeswoman, Ms Tuey, said millions of plastic bottles are consumed in Luang Prabang every year, and the city doesn’t have recycling facilities.
The Refill My Bottle campaign in Vientiane is part of the drive to greatly reduce plastic use and meet ASEAN Clean Tourist City standards.
Tri Continental Hotel Suppliers displayed their lines of biodegradable and compostable food and beverage products such as paper plates, straws, and cups as well as cutlery and plastic-like bags.
The Lao Hotel and Restaurant Association along with the Lao Association of Travel Agents organized the event under the national Tourism Development Department with support from the German Development Cooperation RELATED project.
To visit Refill My Bottle, click here.