Jo Hendrickx leads plastics intervention at UN Sustainable Procurement Workshop

Paris - October 2018

Presenting a practical approach to reducing and eliminating plastics to procurement and CSR specialists, hotel managers and destination representatives, plus a deep dive session into next steps

Jo was invited by the United Nations Environment Programme to speak about single-use plastics at their workshop on sustainable procurement and a circular economy based on her significant experience of working with hotels to reduce and eliminate waste from their operations since 2011.

She was able to give practical advice and recommendations to senior procurers and CSR specialists from international hotel groups with a specific focus on prioritising the elimination of single-use plastics that are often used out of habit and can account for up to 15% of a hotel's plastic waste stream.  

Jo outlined a 3 stage plan that hotels can implement to identify exactly where and how single-use plastics are used in their operations, how much they cost the hotel in financial terms and how they can be eliminated or replaced. 

Not all alternatives are as green as they seem and it is important that hotels understand the overall impacts of the alternatives that they are considering.  For example, very few destinations are equipped to collect and compost bio-plastics which require very specific treatment conditions.  Some hotels that we have worked with regretted taking this path without having given full thought to the disposal infrastructure.  'It is important to us that hotel managers feel informed and can make the right decision to their business' said Jo.  

In addition to the presentation, Jo also moderated a number of deep-dive sessions in the afternoon, where delegates where able to focus in on specific issues.  The UNEP team will use the detailed feedback to inform a supporting approach moving forward which can help hotels to prepare for the EU legislation to ban specific single-use items by 2021.

Other topics covered during the workshop were Food Waste, The Circular Economy Model in Tourism and environmental initiatives in HVAC systems. 

Travel Without Plastic is delighted to be part of the UN ONE Planet Network and continues to provide insight to the circular economy working group. 

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