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Guest amenities Plastic values


As the pandemic rolls on, a strange dichotomy is afflicting the hotel sphere: guests want everything to be wrapped in plastic for hygiene reasons but they have also become more aware of the negative impacts of climate change. Elly Earls talks to Maurice Bergin, founder of Green Hospitality, Denise Naguib, vice-president of sustainability and supplier diversity at Marriott International, and Catherine Dolton, chief sustainability officer and vice-president of global corporate responsibility at IHG, to find out why temporary delays to plastic reduction initiatives will be balanced out by a greater focus on sustainability long-term.


s large hotel groups run down their inventories, stashes of tiny plastic toiletry bottles in homes the world over could soon be irreversibly depleted, followed by the branded notepads and pens that once sat in pride of place by the landline, but which now invariably end up in the miscellaneous kitchen drawer. This is despite the Covid-19 pandemic delaying countless plastic reduction initiatives at government and operator level. Scientists may have debunked the idea that wrapping everything in plastic results in lower virus transmission, but we still feel safer if they are.


A “You could argue it’s a psychotic break with


reality,” says Maurice Bergin, founder of Green Hospitality, a resource and certification scheme for sustainable and responsible tourism in Ireland. “We’re using more single-use plastics and at the same time getting rid of them.”


Indeed, the pandemic has resulted in a sort of strange dichotomy, whereby guests will only travel if they feel like everything they touch has been cleaned to within an inch of its life – meaning single-use receptacles rather than keep cups – but they have also had a lot more time to think about the impacts of climate change and eco-destruction.


Hotel Management International / www.hmi-online.com


47


IHG Hotels & Resorts


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