Luxury hotel brand Edition Hotels has announced a new Stay Plastic Free initiative to help tackle the ocean plastic pollution crisis. The chain, which operates hotels in yachting hotspots around the globe including Barcelona, Miami, Abu Dhabi, London and New York, became 90% plastic free at the end of March 2018 and aims to be 100% plastic free in all hotels by March 2019.
Hotels play a big part in the world’s single-use plastic consumption with the London Edition hotel alone using 217,000 plastic bottles and 500,000 plastic straws in 2017. To remedy this, the chain is making a series of small changes to eradicate plastics in the hope that other hotel brands will follow suit. These changes include equipping staff with refillable water bottles and installing drinking fountains, replacing guest plastic bottles with cans, removing all plastic from minibars, switching guest toothbrushes to bamboo and removing all plastic straws. In the past eight months these changes have resulted in the elimination of 397,000 plastic cups, 9,000 plastic bottles and 85,000 plastic ‘to-go’ items at the Miami Beach Edition alone.
As well as leading by example, the Edition brand hopes to help other hotels wishing to reduce plastic by providing a library of plastic alternative vendors and contacts in all areas of hotel management. The Edition group will also work alongside other leading hotel chains, including Design Hotels, Soho House and Chiltern Firehouse, to create a committee tasked with offering industry-wide solutions to the problem of plastic waste.
In addition Stay Plastic Free will support the work of ocean charities The Lonely Whale Project, fronted by actor Adrien Grenier, and Project Zero, led by Tyrone Wood and James Jagger, using the expertise provided by their scientists to develop the campaign further.
“Until very recently, this kind of initiative didn’t happen in the luxury space and it’s only just beginning,” Ben Pundole, vice president of brand experiences and founder of Stay Plastic Free, 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.”