Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, which pledged to eliminate all single-use plastic in October 2019 across its portfolio of 33 luxury hotels, by the end of March 2021, has reported on the achievements made to date and some of the 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% 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.
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 One of the most used items – plastic water bottles – has now been replaced by on-site filtered and bottled water at 12 hotels.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 aluminium bottled water will be the standard throughout the portfolio.
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 aluminium amenity bottles instead.
“Whilst our ambitious timeline to eliminate all single-use plastic from our premises by the end of March 2021 may have to be adjusted as a consequence of the pandemic, we are making good progress,” said James Riley, group chief executive of the company.