Mandarin Oriental targets total elimination of single-use plastics

More than just the last straw

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group says it will eliminate all single-use plastic, across its entire portfolio of luxury hotels, by the end of March 2021.

The new pledge will see the group move beyond the travel industry trend of the removal of plastic straws and single-use drinking bottles, by committing to a wider and more challenging aim to abolish all single-use plastic currently in use across all operational departments, including rooms, spa, transport, restaurants and bars. The objective is to cover plastics used in all areas of the hotel, not just in the public areas that the customer sees.

Having completed a thorough stock inventory already, the group identified 23 of the most common items of single-use plastic currently in use across the portfolio. To date, 86% of these initial items have been eliminated or are being phased out in all hotels. Given the considerable progress which has already been made, the group is now ready to make a firm commitment towards total elimination.

Image credit: Noah Busher/Unsplash
Image credit: Noah Busher/Unsplash

“We recognise that to achieve complete elimination while maintaining our luxury service standards is a challenge, but to drive change we must set ambitious goals. The elimination of single-use plastic is only one part of the Group’s wider initiative to operate in a responsible and sustainable way across our portfolio,” said James Riley, Group Chief Executive.

The efforts currently underway include testing concepts and inviting colleagues from every hotel to find solutions which can then be shared as best practice internally. Mandarin Oriental is also collaborating with its suppliers to drive responsible procurement and provide alternative products that are both viable and suitable for the luxury hotel environment.

All hotels have clearly defined annual goals to address these issues, and in order to remain accountable to guests, colleagues and the wider community, progress reports will be issued every six months highlighting both their achievements and any difficulties encountered.

A report to highlight the group’s progress will be published at the end of March 2020.

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