By Olivia Shepherd
Historically, the hospitality and tourism industry was one of the most detrimental to the environment and harboured a significant carbon footprint. So, it is no surprise that over the last decade, the industry has needed to adapt to our changing world.
With concerns over sustainability and the imminent climate crisis hitting the mainstream media, many businesses were forced to re-evaluate their personal impact on the environment and hotels were no exception to this. In this new era of striving for better environmental practices and awareness, the average customer is becoming more aware of their contribution to the damage of our environment, which means adapting your hotel to fit the changing demand is perhaps more important than ever before.
The shift towards a sustainable future is inevitable and the hospitality industry must shift with this movement before it gets left behind.
The damaging impact of excessive plastic use is a sustainability issue that has quite possibly drawn the most interest from the general public, with a large majority conscious of reducing their plastic consumption. Reducing the plastic use in your Hotel is also conveniently one of the easiest steps you can take, with many affordable plastic alternatives being accessible to you, whether you are a large Hotel which as part of a chain or a small bed and breakfast with just a few rooms.
PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES
Plastic bottles are a feature of many hotel rooms that you will walk into but as the National Geographic describe them, the use of plastic bottles has gone from a ‘convenience to curse’. A single plastic water bottle takes 450 years to degrade, to put that into perspective the United Kingdom is only 310 years old.
The very first plastic bottle was produced and patented in 1973, this plastic bottle still has at least another 403 years before is decomposes. What’s the problem with this and why should you care? The carbon footprint of producing single use plastic is huge and will reach a point where we can no longer sustain it.
Most of the plastic that we consume ends up in our oceans and/or huge landfills which significantly reduces the aesthetic of an area, thus drawing in less tourism, which will in turn have a negative impact on the Hospitality industry.
Not only is reducing plastic use a practical business decision, it is also a moral and ethical decision as a hotelier. With this in mind, it seems wise, for a hotel, to be part of the solution instead of the widespread problem.
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