Reducing plastic consumption
How to reduce your plastic consumption
Take an inventory
In order to cut your plastic usage, you first need to understand what your current consumption is. Take an inventory of the single-use plastic items you stock at your property, noting down amounts and costs. By doing so, you’ll be able to see at a glance where the big opportunities are.
Greener Guest – an initiative from Travel Without Plastic – offers a downloadable toolkit with a ready-made spreadsheet designed to help you with all calculations. They’ll walk you through the process step-by-step so you can decide where to start more easily.
Consider the essentials
With a full inventory gathered, you might be surprised at the volume of plastic items you use across your property. Look critically at this list and consider if everything there is really required. Can you forego some of these items altogether, or can you look at alternatives that are multi-purpose?
Research the swaps you can make
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for cutting out plastic. The swaps you make might vary depending on the type of property you run, the facilities you have and the guests you attract.
Researching the many sustainable alternatives on the market can help you decide what works for your property. To return money back to the local economy and keep your carbon footprint low, you can also look into which products are available to source in your surrounding area.
Here are our suggestions for a few simple plastic swaps:
- Use refillable dispensers for toiletries, instead of individual bottles
- Change plastic or polystyrene cups for durable, multi-use ones
- Replace bottled water with water dispensers – or, if your tap water is drinkable, clearly label it so guests can see
- Promote reusable bottles by selling or gifting them to your guests (if that’s feasible for you)
- Provide metal or bamboo straws, rather than plastic ones
- Find creative alternatives to plastic wrapping, such as reusable fabric or recyclable paper
Involve your team
Whether you’re a team of two or 200, it’s important that everybody feels motivated about the changes you’re planning. One way to achieve this is to hold a workshop. In this session, you can discuss why cutting plastic is important and ask team members to share their own ideas.
If your team are enthusiastic and engaged, they’ll be committed to making sure your new solutions are a success. They’ll also feel more empowered to talk about the topic with your guests – passing that enthusiasm on to them, too.
Tell guests about your initiatives
Research shows sustainable travel is becoming a priority for travellers, with 58% more determined to make sustainable choices than they were a year ago. This means your guests are more likely to be happy with your commitment than they are to feel inconvenienced. But in order for that to happen, they need to know about your efforts.
Make sure you’re educating and encouraging guests during their stay. Think about placing signs, cards or information booklets around the property. Ideally, these should:
Tell guests what you’re doing
eg. “We’re reducing the amount of plastic we use at our property.”
Share the impact
eg. “Going plastic-free has saved x% of water bottles from going to landfill so far.”
Provide some social proof
eg. “x% of guests take their reusable bottles home. If you’d like to keep yours, just let us know.”
The information you give your guests can influence them long beyond check-out. If they adopt your initiatives during their stay, that’s already a great result. If they go home and change their habits, you can be proud that your property is creating long-lasting impact as well.
Agoda Growth Program