In order to continue to ensure that the environment remains vibrant for generations to come, The Red Carnation Hotel Collection has begun to phase out all single-use plastics from its properties worldwide.
Preventing plastic from polluting oceans is the theme of World Oceans Day 2018, which is commemorated tomorrow, June 8. It is estimated that 8.8 million tons of plastic pour into our oceans every year, on top of the more than five trillion pieces estimated to already be littering the oceans at this moment. In the U.S. alone, 500 million plastic straws are discarded every single day, an amount that could wrap around the Earth 2.5 times.
The larger pieces of plastic injure, impair and kill wildlife, while disintegrating plastic debris and manufactured microbeads are poisoning entire marine ecosystems. According to a report by the World Economic Forum, if nothing is done to push back against the deluge of plastics currently overwhelming our oceans, there could be more plastic in the oceans than fish by the year 2050.
Red Carnation began eliminating single-use plastics in December 2017 as part of the "Multi-Year Plastics Elimination Strategy” led by parent company The Travel Corporation (TTC) under the guidance of its not-for-profit TreadRight Foundation. The single-use plastic ban is the first step in TTC’s journey toward complete elimination of single-use plastics across all 29 of its award-winning brands. With 1.9 million travelers annually across the group, it is estimated that TTC’s efforts have the potential to help eliminate the use of millions of tons of plastic annually.
A number of plastic items have already been discontinued across Red Carnation’s collection of 17 luxury boutique hotels and lodges, including drinking straws, which have been replaced with either recycled paper, stainless steel or other materials; takeaway coffee cups and lids, which have been replaced with compostable paper and corn starch versions; plastic cups in staff canteens; and single-use butter and jam portions. Plastic items that are currently in the process of being discontinued or are slated for future elimination include cocktail stirrers, toothpicks, water bottles, sanitation bags for TV remote controls, dry cleaning bags, and coffee capsules.
Red Carnation is currently reviewing ways to eliminate or recycle additional single-use toiletry items and guest amenities such as shampoo bottles, toothbrushes, pens, sewing kits, slipper packages, and shower caps, as well as single-use catering and housekeeping items like juice and milk containers, plastic food wrap, cleaning product containers, snack bags, and turndown gifts.
Red Carnation’s European hotels already have recycling schemes in place for both toiletry bottles and soaps, whereby they are collected and reused by various charitable groups. For example, The Egerton House Hotel in London donates all partially-used toiletry items such as soap, shampoo and lotion to the Clean Conscience charity, which recycles them and gives them to organizations in need.
Other examples include the use of pasta straws in place of plastic straws at bbar, Red Carnation’s stylish cocktail bar, located adjacent to The Rubens at the Palace hotel. Gluten-intolerant guests can request biodegradable paper straws as an alternative. At The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town, bamboo and cardboard straws have replaced plastic ones. And staff members and residents at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, The Oyster Box, and The Chesterfield Palm Beach can participate in weekly or monthly beach cleanups.
Red Carnation has always been ahead of the curve with regard to green initiatives, and has long been dedicated to creating and offering sustainable hotels for its guests. Under the leadership of Jonathan Raggett, the Managing Director of RCH, and the Tollman family, the owners of TTC, Red Carnation will continue to strive to be an industry leader in the elimination of avoidable plastic waste as part of its efforts to make a positive impact on the communities that we live in and visit.
For more information about The Red Carnation Hotel Collection’s sustainability initiatives, visit our website.