Zero waste travel: Venice

Venice is famous for a reason. It’s unique, beautiful and romantic.

Almost 90% of the waste floating in the Venetian canals is plastic. Waste falls in, blows in, or floats in. I’m spending three months this year just inland from Venice and I plan to share with you as much as I can about zero waste in this corner of the world.

Like any new place or culture you experience, there will be some differences. On the bright side, there are plenty of ways to avoid unnecessary waste while visiting the city. And now, your zero waste travel guide to Venice, Italy:


As always, I’m going to recommend you try the Trenitalia app for your train tickets. Getting around Italy by train is very easy and you can easily get to and from Venice by train. You can purchase tickets and view train schedules from the app and then show the ticket on your phone. That is, if your ticket gets checked (it doesn’t always happen). I’ve used my phone for paperless tickets many times going to Venice.

Public water

At this point, I’m 99% certain you already have a reusable water bottle and Venice is (luckily) full of pubic drinking fountains. You won’t need to look hard or go very far to refill your water bottle. Considering how hot it gets in the summer, you’ll be you brought it.


map of Fontanelle in venice

Venezia Unica Pass

Like any city pass, Venezia Unica gives you access to various museums and attractions in Venice. It’s one of the few city passes I’ve ever purchased and I chose the civic museums. Because I didn’t totally understand at the time, despite buying online, I printed a physical version of my ticket. To be totally paperless, it appears you can present your phone to be scanned instead of printing a physical ticket.


There’s a Lush in Venice. While going to Lush alone isn’t zero waste by itself, if you happen to forget anything on your trip or lose your soap, it’s an easy way to ensure you can get (nearly) package free beauty products. Lush Italia has an identical selection to what is in the USA, and who knows, maybe you can convince the cashier to just hand you the product without any paper.


Fish market

I’m not here to suggest you try and order fish from the market in your own container, but if you do, let me know how that goes. Venice has a fish market that has produce vendors in the neighboring area. Here, most fruits and veggies are not wrapped in plastic, and you can try to ask for your fruit in your own cloth bag or a paper bag if they have it. I got a funny look, but I got my nectarines totally plastic free.

Charity shop, Campiello del spezier

Getting lost in Venice is pretty easy, so whether you get lost and happen to find this store or get lost trying to find it, it was certainly worth the effort to go to. This charity shop is run off of donation as they typically are. The women working there told me in Italian to think of it like shopping in your aunt’s closet. There was a variety of items for adults and children as well as accessories, books, CDs and DVDs. A street address I cannot give you, but Campiello del Spezier is a small square and if you find the square, you’ll have a hard time missing the charity shop.


vegan gelato

Near Rialto bridge, you’ll probably make your way by SUSO even if you’re not looking for gelato. Not only do they have vegan gelato available, it’s absolutely delicious (and photogenic).

Safe travels! If you’re interested in more ways to rock zero waste travel in Italy, check out the following posts: