As conversations about sustainability in the hospitality sector take centre stage, more hotel groups are scrambling to revise policies to cater to the growing consciousness of travellers and delegates.
Thailand’s Akaryn Hotel Group, a brand that has positioned itself around its eco-friendly practices, is aiming to become Asia’s first single-use plastic-free hotel company by 2020. The group is kicking off its efforts with the launch of aykra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok in May, which will mark the first property in Asia to eliminate single-use plastic.
Guests will receive stainless steel water bottles that can be refilled anytime during their stay, while self-service drinking water will be dispensed on every floor.
Meanwhile, bathroom amenities will be presented in celadon pottery containers filled with essential oil-based products, and biodegradable bin bags will be used in all rooms. To contain dry amenities, the hotel sourced toothbrushes, combs and shower caps made from corn starch, and packaged them in paper instead of plastic.
“The main challenge is that single-use plastic is still omnipresent in our industry," said hotel manager Thomas Singenberger. "And with many products such as straws and take-away boxes that are usually no-brainers to purchase, we had to go into more detail and research. As plastic from Thailand and China are often the cheapest options, it can be difficult to find compatible alternatives.”
As delegates are better invested in the idea of sustainable stays, meeting planners will likely be on the hunt for properties that share their vision.
“With frightening reports in regards to plastic in the oceans, the consciousness will likely create a demand from delegates to choose sites that provide more sustainable options,” Singenberger added.