Updated: Nov 22, 2019
As we have established, there are many ways in which the hospitality industry can get involved in the reduction of plastic waste. A great example of a corporation taking an early stance is the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. In this post, we’ll explore how they’ve taken a strong initiative to reduce plastic waste, which can be used as a great example for other hospitality groups.
Reducing Single-use Plastics
The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has collaborated with the company Cochine Saigon to produce sustainable bathroom amenities and reduce plastic waste. Cochine Saigon has helped Mandarin Oriental develop chemical-free shampoos and soaps using large ‘stylish’ dispensers instead of single-use plastic bottles, which cuts down on the waste of plastics. Another great example is Mandarin Oriental’s policy of no longer giving out single-use plastic bottles, and instead using reusable glass bottles and an on-site water filtration system, Nordaq Fresh, in hotels to stop unnecessary single-use plastic waste.
Roof Garden Schemes
Reducing single-use plastics is just one way the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is using to reduce its waste. The company has also proposed a roof garden scheme for its hotels, in which they can grow much of their own food for their restaurants. This reduces the amount of plastic packaging from delivered foods, whilst also giving the hotels more control over how much packaging is used for their food. Some dishes would even be able to have little to no plastic waste at all. The roof garden scheme has already been implemented at the restaurant Petrus in the Island Shangri-La hotel (Hong Kong), one of the first restaurants in the city to have a rooftop garden. Additionally, the group no longer accepts food that is wrapped in plastic, and they reduce their carbon footprint by importing food from close locations such as Japan rather than Australia.
Collaboration with Soap Cycling
Less single-use plastic was sent to the landfills as a result of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s partnership with Soap Cycling, Asia’s largest soap recycling charity that is also the host of the G.R.E.E.N. Hospitality Conference. Soap Cycling addresses the issue of single-use plastics by up-cycling bottled liquid soap from hotels and distributing it to needy individuals, thus reducing plastic waste. In addition, Soap Cycling collects the empty plastic bottles of shampoos, soaps, conditioners from hotels and then recycles them. In fall of 2018 alone, the charity collected over 500 kg of these items to recycle. By collaborating with Soap Cycling, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is both saving money and the environment through reducing the amount of single-use plastic waste they create.