Effect of tourism industry on the plastic production in the southern part of the Caspian Sea

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Guilan, Iran

2 Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Iran



Tourism industry growth in many regions of the world, along with the positive and negative economic and social consequences, has environmental impacts leading to irreversible damage. The present study aimed to investigate the impact of the tourism industry on municipal solid waste amounts especially plastics in Nowshahr City, Northern Iran. The physical components of solid waste were determined based on a simple random sampling method. The samples were collected during a one-year study period (from spring 2015 to winter 2016). The Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was performed to determine the normality of data distribution. Also, the One-Way ANOVA and Tukey tests were implemented to investigate significant differences between the seasons. The Delphi-AHP method was used to find the main criteria of solid waste increasing or the tourism effects reducing. The result showed that plastic (15.98%) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles (11.42%) constituted the highest physical components of solid wastes in the study period. The highest amounts of PET and plastic wastes were observed in the summer, exhibiting significant difference than in the winter (p < 0.05). The results showed that amount of waste in Nowshahr is completely influenced by the number of tourists, irregular presence of tourists throughout the year and season. Also, the lack of environmental awareness in the region has led to the accumulation of significant amounts of recyclable waste such as plastic. The result indicated that the importance of knowledge about the amount of produced wastes in managing and reducing environmental effects in tourism areas. Therefore, special attention should be paid to the public education and culture regarding to the separation of wstes from the source and also recycling the solid wastes as well as the public participation in study area.


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