Meeting planners looking to fight the good fight to reduce plastic waste have found a partner in the Iberostar Group.
To commemorate World Oceans Day on Friday, the Iberostar Group announced its commitment to eliminating plastic waste through its Wave of Change program, which focuses on three core initiatives: to reduce plastic pollution, promote sustainable fishing, and conserve and protect marine ecosystems. More than 80 percent of the hotel group’s 110-property portfolio touts beachfront locations, which makes sustainability not only a socially conscious decision for the company, but also a business decision.
Thanks to the plans put in place by the Wave of Change program, Iberostar will have eliminated more than 200 tons of single-use plastics throughout its Spanish properties by year’s end. The savings is a result of replacing plastic bottles with glass (eliminating 96,562 pounds of plastic) as well as replacing plastic bin liners with ones made from vegetable and potato-starched materials (eliminating another 296,784 pounds). Even refocusing the use of pens and pencils in guest rooms will help cut the hotel group’s plastic use by yet another 6,613 pounds.
The commitment goes beyond the guest rooms though, with the elimination of plastics in food service areas, replacing plastic plates, glasses and cutlery with bamboo or similar products. Even the typical all-inclusive plastic bracelets are being swapped for organic fabric ones made of recyclable materials.
The first phase of the program—eliminating the use of 10 million plastic straws—launched in 2017, while this second phase will result in the removal of all disposable plastic items from the hotel rooms in its Spanish hotel portfolio by year’s end. In 2019, the hotel company plans to expand the program beyond its Spanish properties to the rest of its hotels located in 16 countries across the globe.