10 Plastic-Free Swaps: How Hotels Can Lead the Way For Plastic-Free

一    Tiffany McGrath
|    July 3, 2023

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The Plastic-Free July movement has gained worldwide recognition as an effective initiative to raise awareness about plastic pollution and inspire individuals and businesses to reduce their plastic consumption.

Hotels, being an integral part of the hospitality industry, can make a significant impact by actively participating in and promoting the Plastic-Free July movement. By aligning their operations with this global campaign, hotels demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, engage guests in eco-friendly practices, and contribute to a cleaner, healthier planet.

Plastic-Free July: An Opportunity for Change:

Plastic-Free July is an annual global movement encouraging individuals and businesses to refuse single-use plastics throughout the month of July. The campaign focuses on raising awareness, providing resources, and empowering participants to make sustainable choices. Hotels can leverage this movement as a catalyst for change and actively engage in plastic reduction efforts.

Setting Plastic-Free Goals:

Hotels can use Plastic-Free July as an opportunity to set specific and measurable goals for reducing plastic waste. These goals may include eliminating certain single-use plastic items, implementing plastic-free alternatives, or reducing overall plastic consumption. By publicly sharing their goals, hotels can inspire guests, employees, and industry peers to join their sustainability journey.

Reducing Single-Use Plastics:

Food and Beverage 

  1. Replace plastic straws with biodegradable or reusable options,
  2. Offer refillable water stations or glass-bottled water,
  3. Encourage guests to bring their reusable containers for takeout or leftovers.

Guest Rooms 

  1. Swapping the plastic key card with other options
  2. Providing refillable toiletry dispensers,
  3. Using biodegradable or reusable amenities, and
  4. Eliminating plastic packaging for items such as slippers and laundry bags can significantly reduce plastic waste in guest rooms.

Events and Meetings

  1. Offering plastic-free options for catering,
  2. Upcycle any plastic waste from the event,
  3. Using reusable or compostable plates and cutlery and avoiding single-use water bottles contribute to a more sustainable approach to event management.
To explore, suppliers for each of the 10 swaps, do continue to click on shop for tactical solution providers at your local market.

Engaging Guests:

Communication: Hotels can inform guests about their participation in Plastic-Free July through pre-arrival emails, in-room signage, and digital platforms. These channels can educate guests about the hotel’s sustainability efforts and encourage their involvement in plastic reduction practices

Guest Involvement: Hotels can provide resources and suggestions for guests to participate in Plastic-Free July during their stay. This may include tips on using reusable water bottles, bringing their own shopping bags, or suggesting local plastic-free businesses and attractions.

Measuring and Celebrating Success:

Hotels should track and measure their progress during Plastic-Free July. Monitoring plastic waste reduction, conducting regular audits, and analyzing the results can help identify areas for improvement and celebrate successes. Sharing achievements with guests, employees, and the wider community reinforces the hotel’s commitment to sustainability and inspires others to take action.

Several hotels we collaborate with have committed to becoming plastic-free, taking various actions to achieve this goal. These include:

  • Installing water bottling systems in guest rooms to eliminate plastic water bottles.
  • Removing single-use plastic from their food and beverage outlets.
  • Substituting cling film in kitchens with reusable and compostable alternatives.
  • Engaging with suppliers to minimize plastic in the supply chain.
  • Replacing individual plastic amenities in guest rooms and public areas with refillable alternatives.

By embracing the Plastic-Free July movement, hotels can play a vital role in reducing plastic waste, raising awareness about sustainable practices, and demonstrating their commitment to environmental stewardship.

If you are in need for additional resources to support you on becoming plastic-free hotel, please check on the below references.


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