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Helping Hotel to Reduce or Eliminate Single-Use Plastic from Operations

  • Published on January 22, 2019
Our 'Let's Reduce Single-Use Toolkit' has been designed to specifically support hotels and accommodations providers to identify where and how plastic is used in their operations and how much it costs. Starting with this baseline enables priority actions to be set, and our accompanying Let's Reduce Single-Use Guide is packed with no cost, low cost and investment alternatives to suit a range of customer demographics and budgets, together with simple communications to engage staff and guests.
Hotels and accommodations are ready to change the way they do business, but they are confused about the pros and cons of the alternatives to single-use plastic, they don’t want to solve one problem only to find they have created another. The Let's Reduce Single-Use Toolkit gives hotels the confidence, tools, expertise, knowledge and inspiration to reduce or eliminate single-use plastics without compromising tour operator or guest expectations and it speaks candidly about the considerations that are necessary to avoid being a victim of greenwash or purchasing products with poor environmental or social credentials, but we don’t want to stop there. Hotels need to be able to make informed decisions based on the ethics and objectives of their business, their customer demographic, local infrastructure and available budget. To really make a positive net environmental impact at scale we need to make it easy for tourism businesses to find alternatives by connecting them with ethical producers and organisations who are creating products at fair but competitive wholesale prices via an online platform. We are very clear that our first priority is to minimise consumption by eliminating unnecessary single-use products from operations. By working with hotels to overcome habits and concerns around health, safety and hygiene we can change significantly reduce the demand for products that add no value whatsoever to the guest experience. Where products do need to be replaced, on request policies should be the first step, accompanied by excellent customer communications to engage hotel guests with the new approach. We encourage hotels to work with wholesalers and suppliers to limit unnecessary packaging and to find innovative, local alternatives to single-use. Involving staff and guests in an approach to reducing single-use plastic will hopefully have the added advantage of influencing their own purchasing behaviours when outside of the hotel, driving people to be more discerning in their decisions and to take the time to make personal decisions that can make a positive difference. In June 2018 we launched our 'Let's Reduce Single-Use Toolkit' for hotels and accommodation providers, with a free downloadable introduction on our website. We are in the final stages of database development to enable secure data input and report generation. We have delivered a number of presentations at tourism events in the UK, have been featured in numerous publications including The Guardian, WTTC Magazine and ONE Planet and have been filmed by the BBC for a programme airing on 23/1/19 looking at single-use plastics in tourism. For 2019, we have a number of destination workshops planned and will be working with partner organisations in the USA, Australia, Asia and West Africa in order to increase the potential for positive impact. Additionally, we have introduced a Dedicated Plastics Account Manager Service specifically for larger hotel groups who require significant centralised support. In 2018 we undertook a pilot project with 25 hotels in Spain, Greece, Turkey and The Maldives. We are in the process of collecting the baseline data relevant to single-use plastic consumption and the associated costs. Initial findings show that our recommendations can generate an average of 20% reduction in single-use items and associated costs within the first year alone. We are waiting on the final results due by April 2019 before we can explicitly demonstrate the impact.

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