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Two Companies Set Single-Use Plastic Free Goals

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Late last month, Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts, Singapore, announced a pledge against single-use plastic. The premium hotel operator and developer will implement a plan for all its properties to phase out the use of disposable plastics by Earth Day 2019. This will include plastic straws, plastic water bottles and disposable plastic cutlery.

Sudima Hotels & Resorts, with properties throughout New Zealand, is advancing its sustainability journey by setting the goal of becoming single-use plastic free by 2020. Sudima aims to establish industry benchmarks on single-use plastics by working with its suppliers to source alternative packaging options and reduce waste from items such as bottled water by installing filters with hot, cold and sparkling water in all bar areas; and removing other items such as plastic stirrers, water cups and plastic wrapping.

In a first step towards its single-use plastic free 2020 goal, Sudima recently became the first group of hotels in New Zealand to discontinue using plastic straws—eliminating an estimated 52,000 straws each year from going to landfill, which is the equivalent of 38 times the height of Auckland’s Sky Tower. Sudima now offers paper straws for guests on request.

Vedika Jhunjhnuwala, recently appointed as Environment and Social Advocate for Sudima Hotels, has grown up in the hospitality sector and is passionate about ensuring the industry puts people and the environment first in its business operations. “Imagine what our world would be like if we all chose to reduce or ban single-use plastics,” Jhunjhnuwala says. “At Sudima Hotels, we abide by the philosophy of leaving the world in a better position than we found it and aim to apply this to the operation of our hotels so it’s only natural that we set this goal for ourselves.

“Our journey is not just about Sudima,” Jhunjhnuwala adds. “We are calling on the industry to collaborate with us and work together. We are keen to establish what the industry benchmark looks like for reducing or eliminating single-use plastics. It can be overwhelming when thinking about making a big change like this one, but by setting a target and making small changes every day, we hope to set an example so that other organizations will follow suit.”

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