Mandarin Oriental reinforces pledge to scrap single-use plastics

Mandarin Oriental has pledged to continue with its mission to eliminate single-use plastics despite the coronavirus pandemic impacting its efforts.

The hotel group had announced last October that it would remove single use plastics from its portfolio by March 2021.

It said the timeframe of the commitment was “likely to be impacted” but insisted progress was still being made. 

The group initially focussed on 60 of the most commonly used-single use items which are estimated to make up 95% of the total number of items used by the brand’s hotels. 

In a statement, Mandarin Oriental said items had either been eliminated or were in the process of being phased out as current stock is depleted.

However, the current global crisis has meant that the depletion of existing stock across the portfolio has slowed. 

“New hygiene protocols and requirements arising from the pandemic pose challenges that may well affect our timeline,” Mandarin Oriental said. “However, we remain committed to our original objective of 100% elimination while recognising the potential for delay in the removal of some items. Work is ongoing to achieve the very best results across the portfolio and within our timeframes.”

The brand said other commonly used plastic items had been replaced with eco-alternative materials – such as re-usable cloth laundry bags; paper, metal or bamboo straws; and natural loofahs.

Many bathroom amenities have been replaced with non-plastic items, including cotton pads, razors, earbuds, shower caps and shaving foam. 

The group’s hotels are experimenting with wall mounted shower gel, shampoo and conditioner dispensers and are working with luxury brands such as Diptyque and Fig & Yarrow to ensure they can be filled and re-filled with chemical-free product. 

Mandarin Oriental said it had added another challenge to its initial timeline and was now working with partners to ensure items delivered to the hotel don’t use single-use plastic packaging. It hopes this will be resolved through its “Supplier Code of Conduct and ongoing supplier engagement”.

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