EDITION wants all hotels to ditch single-use plastic
EDITION Hotels is introducing a new initiative that aims to rid single-use plastic from the hotel industry.
The ‘Stay Plastic Free’ initiative was developed by the hotel group’s vice president of Brand Experiences, Ben Pundole, and will see all EDITION hotels to be 90 per cent single-use plastic free by the end of Q1 2018. The intention is then to be 100 per cent single-use plastic free by the end of Q1 2019.
The campaign has been inspired by the recent anti-plastic activism in the UK, spurred in part by Sir David Attenborough’s widely-viewed Blue Planet II TV series.
The initiative also strives to encourage others both within the hospitality industry and outside of to commit to removing plastic from everyday use – and provides the tools and resources to help them do so.
Stay Plastic Free, the initiative that will inspire hotels and hoteliers worldwide to use alternatives to single-use plastic, will provide a library of plastic alternative vendors and contacts for everything from plastic-free mini bar items, coffee cups, straws, water bottles, bathroom amenities and food containers.
Working alongside both The Lonely Whale Project, fronted by actor Adrien Grenier, and Project Zero, led by Tyrone Wood and James Jagger, Stay Plastic Free has enlisted serious support from both oceans charities and the scientists behind them. The programme has also enlisted support from industry authorities including Randy Gerber, Alan Faena and Andre Balazs as advocates.
While environmental campaigners have warned about the unsustainable nature of single-use plastic for years, Pundole believes the current momentum around plastic feels different. Far from being seen as a frugal or inconvenient decision, Pundole said ditching plastic is now seamlessly aligned with the new definition of luxury expected by guests of the luxury hotel brand, which is a partnership between Ian Schrager and Marriott International.
“Until very recently, this kind of initiative didn’t happen in the luxury space and it’s only just beginning,” Pundole said. “I think it really helps that luxury brands like Gucci have committed to being a lot more sustainable. There’s been a kind of conscious approach to next steps from companies that you never thought you’d see doing this.”
In addition to plastic reductions throughout its properties, EDITION is leading a campaign committee of influential hoteliers – which Pundole hopes will include the likes of Design Hotels, Soho House, and Chiltern Firehouse – to look at industry-wide solutions to the plastic problem.
Pundole says the hurdles are not guests – “guests are really behind this kind of thing” – but rather making a business case to financiers that “it’s the right decision even though it’s not cost neutral”.
EDITION Hotels will produce a short film highlighting the impact of single use plastic from the hotel industry on the environment. It will include many high profile and notable friends of EDITION. EDITION has an aggressive expansion plan and upcoming 2018 property launches include Shanghai, Bangkok, Times Square New York, Bodrum, Barcelona, Abu Dhabi – and West Hollywood, early 2019. With this in mind it’s even more important for them to become game changers and leaders within one of the most wasteful industries in business.