The hospitality sector across the world has been getting questions as to their sustainability, more and more hotel companies are moving to change operational procedures to meet the demand of customers and travellers, who have increasingly embracing environmental sustainability.
Thailand’s Akaryn Hotel Group, a brand that has been fervently marketing itself around eco-friendly operational practices, has recently announced its goal to be Asia’s first hotel company to completely forego single-use plastic throughout its operations, a goal it hopes to reach by 2020. The company is starting off with the launch of its newest property in May of 2018, a Sukhumvit suites hotel named the aykra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok, which will be the first property in Asia to completely eliminate single-use plastic.
For guests hydration needs, stainless steel water bottles will be provided by the hotel. Additionally, self-service drinking water dispensers are available in every floor.
Bathroom amenities are essential oil-based products, held by celadon pottery while biodegradable bin bags will be used for the trash bins in all of the rooms. The dry amenities, such as combs, shower caps, and toothbrushes, were specifically cherry picked by the hotel, using only products made from cornstarch, held not in plastic but paper packaging.
The Hotel Manager for this new Sukhumvit suites hotel, Thomas Singenberger, says that the primary hurdle they have to face is the fact that single-use plastic is ubiquitous in the hospitality industry. He says that products such as take-away boxes and straws, usually made with little effort and consideration, required a lot of investigation and research, especially since plastic from China and Thailand tend to be the cheapest options available, making finding working alternatives somewhat difficult.
He says that, as delegates and travellers across the world are becoming more and more invested in the idea of environmentally sustainable trips, the hospitality industry will likely be making moves to meet that demand, creating more and more properties with a focus on environmentally friendly accommodations.
Singenberger adds that, with the reports of plastic polluting the oceans popping up, the shift towards greater environment friendliness will create a demand that tourists and delegates will adhere to, seeking out more sustainable accommodation options.