It is refreshing to see a company that is making operational changes in its business practices to back up marketing claims of being Eco-friendly. Thailand’s Akaryn Hotel Group has announced it will become Asia’s first hotel chain to ban single use plastic on its properties.
Eliminating Single Use Plastic from Hotels
Sustainability and Eco-friendly business practices continue to permeate society. Although the pace seems slow, awareness is growing regarding how certain conveniences and comforts of life are actually destroying the planet.
Akaryn’s will launch its anti-plastic campaign in May 2018 with a new property akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok. The property will do away with all single-serving plastic conveniences and will replace them with sustainable products. For example, guests will receive stainless steel water bottles that can be refilled to use during their stay.
One might think that getting away from single use plastic would be near impossible. Yet, Akaryn has figured it out, it seems. Instead of sample toiletries, the hotel will use celadon pottery containers to hold shampoos and lotions. Items such as trash bags, toothbrushes, combs and shower caps, typically made of plastic, will be made from corn starch and fully biodegradable.
Akaryn’s goal is to eliminate single use plastic from all of its Asia properties by 2020. Although the plan is admirable, it necessarily be an easy task. Tomas Singenberger, hotel manager for Akaryn, stated:
The main challenge is that single-use plastic is still omnipresent in our industry. And with many products such as straws and take-away boxes that are usually no-brainers to purchase, we had to go into more detail and research. As plastic from Thailand and China are often the cheapest options, it can be difficult to find compatible alternatives.
Akaryn is Not Alone
Hats off to Akaryn and its ambitious target to ban single use plastic. Here are three more examples that illustrate growing global awareness about the detrimental impact of plastic pollution:
- France has passed a new law that goes into effect in 2020. It requires producers to make all plastic cups, cutlery and plates from biologically-sourced materials. This will ensure that the items will decompose.
- The world’s first plastic-free supermarket, Ekoplaza, debuted in Amsterdam in March 2018. The chain will have roughly 700 plastic-free products. Instead of plastic, items are packed in compostable materials or glass, metal and cardboard.
- A growing global movement to eliminate plastic straws is underway, thanks to the exceptional efforts of young Milo Cress. Milo started the Be Straw Free campaign when he was nine. Over the last six years his movement has expanded throughout the U.S. and in Europe.
We are seeing more communities, business and governments make the effort to implement Eco-friendly and sustainable practices. Although it would be nice to see faster progress, it is progress nevertheless.
If you are anxious about the problem of plastic pollution, it is most important that you start your activism efforts at home. Act by changing your lifestyle and stop using plastics as much as possible. Also, spend your money on businesses that are making a difference.
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