With environmental discussions becoming more and more prominent, the travel industry has made efforts towards becoming better for the planet. In October 2019, The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group pledged to eliminate all single-use plastic, across its portfolio of 33 luxury hotels, by the end of March 2021.
A year on from the Group’s pledge, the company has shared some achievements made after committing to eliminating single-use plastic across all areas of its hotels, including rooms, spa, transport, restaurants and bars as well as in areas unseen by the guest, such as offices and kitchens.
The focus remains on the elimination of 60 of the most common single-use plastic items identified by hotels which are estimated to make up 95% of the total number of items. Many of these items have now either been eliminated or are in the process of being phased out as plastic stock is depleted. So far, the Group’s hotels have eliminated an average of 70% of the 60 most commonly used items, excluding supplier packaging, with steady progress across all departments.
Eco-alternatives include cocktail sticks, straws, body scrubs, tasting spoons, plastic spatulas and takeaway bags. One of the most used items, which are plastic water bottles, has now been replaced by on-site filtered and bottled water at 12 hotels. Glass and aluminum bottled water will be the standard throughout the portfolio.
Almost half of the Group’s portfolio have eliminated waste bags in guest rooms, adopting an empty-and-clean approach instead. Operational guidelines in F&B and Spa are also changing to incorporate new methods of sanitization, food preparation, cooking and product storage to decrease the need for single-use plastic.