Travel Without Plastic, an organisation committed to helping the tourism industry tackle its use of single-use plastic, marked World Environment Day with the global launch of ‘Let’s Reduce Single-Use - The Plastics Guide and Tool Kit for Hotels’.
Available in English and Spanish, Let’s Reduce Single-Use - The Plastics Guide for Hotels examines the pros and cons of plastics alternatives, enabling those buying on behalf of hotels to make informed decisions that suit their business and reduce environmental impact. Packed with zero cost, low cost and investment options, there’s also a list of suppliers of plastic free alternatives - from edible straws through to reusable laundry bags.
The accompanying Let’s Reduce Single-Use Tool Kit enables hotels to measure and manage their plastic reduction journey. It includes a self-assessment questionnaire and a plastics spend tracker to identify the costs associated with plastics use across hotel operations, together with communications materials to help engage staff and customers in its reduction.
The Founders of Travel Without Plastic, dedicated environmentalists, Jo Hendrickx and Rachel McCaffery, were inspired to write the Guide and Tool Kit, by documentaries like Blue Planet and startling images of marine animals suffering as a result of today’s ‘disposable’ lifestyles.
Combining their 30 years of sustainable tourism experience, their ambition for the guide is for it to be the first step in a journey that will see the elimination of single-use plastic altogether. By encouraging the travel industry to explore the innovative, cost saving alternatives that exist, they aim to drive a shift away from the expectation that a roomful of single-use plastic is the norm. They are also keen to also encourage hoteliers to recognise that guests are less and less likely to view unnecessary plastics as a mark of quality.
That wrap-around banner proclaiming ‘your toilet has been hygienically cleaned’ needs to become a relic of the past!
Hendrickx comments: “Literally the last straw for me came on a visit to the US last year. I went down to enjoy my hotel breakfast and was given plastic cutlery, individually wrapped in its own plastic sleeve, a styrofoam bowl with a matching plate and cup, which I then got to fill with cereal from a plastic packet and coffee from a plastic pod. There wasn’t a single reusable item on the premises. I realised, there has to be a better way!
We all now know that the world oceans are drowning in plastic, it’s killing wildlife in huge numbers, polluting beaches and even harming human health as it gets into the food chain. Consumers are waking up and they don’t stop caring when they go on holiday, yet many of the hotels they stay in will often be contributing to the problem.
Hotels can adapt to changing customer attitudes, reduce costs, steal a march on increasingly likely legislation and drastically reduce the amount of plastic entering their local environment by implementing changes outlined in The Lets Reduce Single- Use Guide and Tool Kit.
Neilson Active Holidays have recently partnered with Travel Without Plastic, Iain Stevenson-Wood from Neilson said:
‘We are excited to be involved in the roll-out of the Let’s Reduce Single-Use Tool Kit as it includes a comprehensive guide to the types of plastics we might be using in our hotels and accommodation, what the issues are with these products and lots of ideas and suggestions for possible alternatives.
Using this Tool Kit, we hope to be able to make big changes to the amount of plastic we consume while influencing our staff, customers, suppliers and communities to consider their use of this difficult material.’
Let’s Reduce Single-Use - The Plastics Guide and Tool Kit for Hotels is deliberately priced to be as affordable as possible. The Guide alone costs €79 (US$79), while the full Toolkit is just €99 (US$99) available from www.travelwithoutplastic.com - with a 10% discount for businesses ordering before 30 June.