Hotels and Plastics: Going plastic-free

Hotels and Plastics: Going Plastic-Free. - Save this pin for later!Hotels and Plastics: Going Plastic-Free. - Save this pin for later!

In my last post, I broke down just how the hospitality industry is a massive contributor to the global plastic pollution problem. Hotels generate a significant amount of waste, including single-use plastic items such as bottled water, plastic cutlery, and shower amenities.

In this mini-series, Hotels and PlasticsI'll show you how any hotel business can stand out from others in the industry and attract environmentally conscious travelers by implementing greener initiatives. Today, we're taking a look at how hotels can go plastic-free.

1. Reduce single-use plastic items

Single-use plastic items such as bottled water, plastic cutlery and shower items are among the biggest contributors to plastic waste in hotels. To reduce plastic waste, hotels can switch to alternative, more sustainable options. For example, instead of bottled water, hotels can offer their guests refillable glass or stainless steel bottles. They can also switch to biodegradable or compostable cutlery and replace plastic shower fixtures with eco-friendly alternatives made from bamboo or recycled materials.

2. Implement recycling and composting programs

Another way hotels can reduce their plastic waste is by implementing recycling and composting programs. They can set up separate bins for different types of waste and educate guests and employees on how to correctly dispose of plastics and other materials. They can also work with local recycling companies to ensure plastics, paper and other materials are recycled properly.

Recycling and composting programs show your customer that you take steps to reduce your waste.Recycling and composting programs show your customer that you take steps to reduce your waste.

3. Offer sustainable alternatives

Hotels can offer their guests more sustainable alternatives, such as using bar soap instead of bottled shower gel and shampoo, or providing cloth towels instead of disposable paper towels. Reusable coffee cups can reduce the need for disposable plastic or paper cups. Hotels can also replace plastic straws with paper or biodegradable alternatives and use reusable glasses and tableware instead of single-use plastic or paper tableware.

A coffee grinder and a plastic-free coffee maker in a sustainable hotel.A coffee grinder and a plastic-free coffee maker in a sustainable hotel.

4. Partner with suppliers

Many hotels have been working with the same suppliers for years. Instead of looking for new partners, they should try to work with their suppliers to jointly reduce the use of plastic packaging. They can ask their suppliers to use more sustainable packaging materials, such as biodegradable or recyclable materials, and encourage them to adopt more environmentally friendly practices.

5. Educate staff

Hotels can play a critical role in educating staff about the importance of reducing plastic waste. They can do this by informing their staff about their sustainability efforts and encouraging them to do their part by offering incentives and enforcing plastic-free policies. In addition, hotels can educate their employees about proper plastic waste disposal and the benefits of reducing plastic consumption through on-the-job training or workshops. This ensures that everyone involved in the daily use of the hotel works together to keep the hotel plastic-free.

Educate your staff about the importance of becoming more sustainable.Educate your staff about the importance of becoming more sustainable.

In the last post of this series, Hotels and Plastics, I will compile the best plastic-free hotels of 2023 for you. Enjoy! 

You can be featured on my website!

I'd be happy to feature you on my website. If your venue is sustainable or plastic-free and you want me to write about it or to interview you, send me a message on! I look forward to reading from you. 

Want to make your hotel or guesthouse sustainable, too, but not sure where to start?

If you too want to make your hotel or bed & breakfast fit for a plastic-free, sustainable future, contact me on I am a certified Plastic-Free Consultant, working with hotels and guesthouses around the world to reduce single-use plastic footprint.  Learn more here or reach out to me via email.

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