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Hoteliers are increasingly aware that their plastic waste contributes to an enormous environmental problem, and there’s an obvious first step to take: Promise to do better.
A hotel can simply set its own goals and issue a press release, or it can join some type of larger coalition, commitment, alliance, or pledge that includes other companies. Among the simplest and most common elements of such a pledge are eliminating plastic straws and water bottles, referred to as “low-hanging fruit” by Dianna Cohen, CEO of Plastic Pollution Coalition. On the more difficult end of the spectrum is reducing back-of-house plastics that come in from suppliers.
Such steps are addressed in pledges like the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, launched in 2018 by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with UN Environment. This is among the broadest such efforts with signatories encompassing 20 percent of all plastic packaging produced globally.