Following up on Swiss-Belhotel International’s global initiative to enhance the sustainability of its operations and reduce plastic consumption, the group has announced plans to eliminate the use of disposable plastic straws from its existing and upcoming properties across the Middle East and Africa region.
Laurent A. Voivenel, Senior Vice President, Operations and Development (Middle East, Africa and India), Swiss-Belhotel International, said, “We are constantly striving to reduce our environmental impact where we operate and are committed to putting a complete ban on single-use (throw-away) plastics gradually. As part of the policy, we are actively seeking to source non-plastic alternatives where possible and reducing our reliance on plastic. Removing disposable plastic straws from our hotels is going to be the first step in that direction. We know there’s a lot more ground to cover but every single action counts.”
According to industry reports the ‘throw-away’ culture is doing a catastrophic damage to the environment. An estimated eight million tons of plastic waste enter oceans every year and research projects that plastic in our oceans could triple in a decade. The scale of the plastic problem is evident from these figures: 480 billion plastic bottles were sold worldwide in 2016; one trillion single-use plastic bags were used every year; more than half a million plastic straws were used every day around the world. If the world continues to generate plastic waste at the current rate approximately 12 billion tonnes will be in landfills or the natural environment by 2050.