Mandarin Oriental making ‘steady progress’ in fight against single-use plastics

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has successfully eliminated an average of 70% of the most commonly used single-use plastic items across all of its hotels. 

The luxury hotel group said it was making “steady progress across all departments” in its pledge to eliminate all single-use plastic across its portfolio of 33 hotels by the end of March 2021.

A year after first unveiling the pledge in October 2019, Mandarin Oriental said the focus remained on the elimination of 60 of the most common single-use plastic items identified by hotels, which are estimated to make up 95% of the total number of items. 

Many of these items have now either been eliminated or are in the process of being phased out as plastic stock is depleted. 

Items that have been completely eliminated and replaced with eco-alternatives include cocktail sticks, straws, body scrubs, tasting spoons, plastic spatulas and takeaway bags. 

One of the most used items – plastic water bottles – has now been replaced by on-site filtered and bottled water at 12 hotels. 

Almost half of the group’s portfolio have eliminated waste bags in the guest rooms and operational guidelines in F&B and spa are also changing to incorporate new methods of sanitisation, food preparations, cooking and product storage to decrease the need for single-use plastic. 

Pilot tests to trial wall mounted dispensers to replace small plastic toiletry containers have also successfully been completed and are being installed in phases across the portfolio.

Mandarin Oriental said challenges still remain - particularly where single-use plastic packaging is delivered to the hotel from third parties – and the Covid-19 pandemic might force the March 2021 end date to be adjusted.

But the group said colleagues from every hotel were continuing to focus on finding solutions to single use plastic.  

“Whilst our ambitious timeline to eliminate all single-use plastic from our premises by the end of March 2021 may have to be adjusted as a consequence of the pandemic, we are making good progress,” said James Riley, group chief executive. 

“I am proud that despite the current challenging conditions, our colleagues have wholly embraced this task to deliver on the Group’s sustainability responsibilities.”  


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