New Delhi: One of the leading hotel chains in the world, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group had pledged to eliminate all single-use plastic, across its portfolio of 33 luxury hotels, by the end of March 2021. A year on the Group highlights the achievements made to date and some of the continuing challenges.
The company has committed 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 percent 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 percent of the 60 most commonly used items, excluding supplier packaging, with steady progress across all departments.
Items that have been completely eliminated and replaced with eco-alternatives include cocktail sticks, straws, body scrubs, tasting spoons, plastic spatulas and takeaway bags. One of the most used items – plastic water bottles – has now been replaced by on-site filtered and bottled water at 12 hotels.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.
Hotels are adapting their operational practices as they incorporate these eco-friendly alternatives. 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 sanitisation, food preparation, cooking and product storage to decrease the need for single-use plastic.
Pilot tests to trial wall mounted dispensers to replace small plastic toiletry containers have been successfully completed and in most cases these are being installed in phases across the portfolio. Properties that are unable to mount dispensers will use recyclable aluminum amenity bottles instead. Hotels are working with luxury brands such as Diptyque to fill dispensers with chemical free product.
The Group believes that hygiene and the highest sanitary standards can be maintained without single use non reusable plastics.