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LUXURY TRAVEL: STOPPING PLASTIC POLLUTION

Plastic pollution is poisoning our oceans and land, injuring marine life and affecting our health! Earth Day 2018 was dedicated to ‘providing the information and inspiration needed to fundamentally change human attitude and behaviour about plastics’ and is ‘working to secure a future free of plastic pollution’.

Thankfully change is starting to occur.

Today’s luxury travellers want their holidays to be both luxurious and sustainable. Luxury Hotels and Resorts across the world are becoming very clever and creative when trying to be both kind to the earth, yet also deliver 5-star luxury.

Here are some of The Luxury Travel Bible’s favourite destinations and what they are doing to ensure they are eco-friendly 365 days a year.

 

Tongsai Bay, Thailand

Plastic straws are a hot topic at the moment. Once manmade straws are used, most end up in oceans or in landfill, with plastic straws taking up to 200 years to degrade. More than 500 million straws are disposed of every year in the USA alone.

Luxury five-star resort, The Tongsai Bay in Thailand, has replaced all man-made straws with lemongrass. All plastic and paper straws have been eliminated and instead, a cutting of lemongrass, grown in the resort’s own gardens, is provided in beverages. It can be used exactly as a man-made straw, but without the damaging environmental impacts. The Tongsai Bay’s lemongrass straws are environmentally friendly throughout the straw’s life cycle, from planting to disposal and they will degrade naturally back into the soil within a matter of weeks. www.tongsaibay.co.th

Anantara and AVANI Hotels & Resorts
Anantara and AVANI Hotels & Resorts has an admirable commitment to reducing plastic. Globally, 300 million tons of plastic is produced on an annual basis and around 8.8 million tons of it gets dumped into the oceans. Therefore, since 1st January 2018 there has been a company-wide policy to eradicate plastic straws at every single Anantara and AVANI Hotels & Resorts property across the Asia region with a view to extending the roll-out to properties in Australasia, Europe and the Middle East by the end of the 2018. www.anantara.com , www.avanihotels.com

Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa
Hilton Seychelles Labriz Resort & Spa bottles its own water, taken from the source of Mount Dauban, which is the largest peak on Silhouette Island and the second largest in the archipelago. This stops the need for water to be imported onto the island, thereby reducing pollution levels. The water is then filtered before being served throughout the resort in glass bottles, which are sanitised and reused. In the coming months, it will also be shipped to Labriz’s sister resorts, Hilton Seychelles Northolme Resort & Spa, and Doubletree Allamanda Resort & Spa, to ensure an eco-friendly atmosphere across the archipelago. www.hilton.com
 

Akaryn Hotel Group

Akaryn Hotel Group plan to become a single-use plastic-free hotel group by 2020. The group’s newest opening, akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok (opening May 2018), is set to lead the charge by sourcing glass bottle containers and banning single use plastic in the bars. Stainless steel water bottles, which can be refilled anytime during their stay, are handed to guests on arrival and self-service drinkable water will be conveniently located on every floor to ease the refill. Additionally, toiletry products are presented in locally manufactured celadon containers filled with essential oils-based products. Bio-degradable bin bags are used in-room and shopping bags can be borrowed from the wardrobes to encourage guests to refuse plastic bags when indulging in some Bangkok retail-therapy. www.theakyra.com/bangkok/sukhumvit/

The Nai Harn, Phuket

The Nai Harn Phuket is committed to reducing wastage of plastics and serving local and sustainable produce whilst supporting locals. Winner of the Gold Level Green Hotel Award, The Nai Harn, Phuket has gained recognition for its dedication to sustainability, including the substitution of plastic straws with paper straws, ensuring all plastic bottles are recycled, serving local and sustainable produce, the usage of eco-friendly cleaning products and the introduction of energy-saving bulbs. Minimising the distance between farm and table, the resort maintains its own on-site vegetable and herb garden whilst also supporting the local communities by sourcing local produce. Extending its commitment to sustainability far beyond just the hotel, The Nai Harn has recently implemented ‘The Giving Bag’ scheme where guests can donate unwanted items to the resorts chosen charity; The Phuket Sunshine Village, a local foster home for children in need.  www.thenaiharn.com

Iberostar Hotel Group

Iberostar is to eliminate all single use plastics from its hotel rooms. By summer 2018 in its 36 hotels in Spain and by 2019 in the more than 110 hotels around the world, Iberostar will be eliminating two and a half million single-use plastics from its hotel rooms. The measure will enable the company to reduce the production and use of 175,000 kg of plastics, the equivalent of just under 90,000 tons of oil or the weight of 100 compact vehicles.

Thanks to this initiative, regular products including bathroom amenities, bags for slippers or clothing and minibar items will be replaced by others made of alternative materials such as glass, compostable cardboard or renewable plant-based items. Eliminating the 1.5 million plastic bottles that will no longer be used in Iberostar hotel rooms each year will prevent the generation of 43 tons of plastic waste in Spain alone. www.iberostar.com

TLTB says…

This is just a selection of some of The Luxury Travel Bible’s favourites, but of course we all know the travel industry has a long way to go.

When staying at a hotel or resort, it can sometimes be truly shocking when you start to realise HOW MUCH single-use plastic just one traveller can consume during their holiday. From cocktails on the beach with straws and stirrers to single-use amenities in the bathroom to plastic water bottles in the minibar to plastic shopping bags while souvenir shopping …. the list is endless.

So, come on luxury hotels & resorts of the stunning locations of the world, everyone needs to step up and protect this beautiful earth!

 Sarah Bryans 30/4/18
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