THE SHORT SQUEEZE
Hotelier India|November 2021
Replacing toothpaste tubes with tabs can enable the hospitality industry to take a huge cooperative step forward towards sustainability
PRANITHA BHOSALE

ITC Hotels’ commitment to 'Responsible Luxury' resonates through all its sustainability initiatives. Here’s a quick look. The hotel chain noticed that around 2.5 lakh kg of single-use plastic was generated at its luxury hotels every year. The key contributors included 150 lakh water bottles, 15 lakh straws, 8 lakh stirrers, 8 lakh toothbrushes, 7 lakh earbuds and 3 lakh shoe shine. To mitigate this consumption, it now procures more than 75% paper, stationery and wood from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified suppliers, preferring local vendors.

It is not alone. Another stalwart, IHCL, has replaced plastic straws from all its hotels and has installed bottling water plants at 15 properties, thereby eliminating 0.2 million kilograms of plastic. It aims to further reduce and eventually stop the use of single-use plastic in product packaging. Additionally, IHCL has launched the country's first ever 'Zero Single-Use Plastic Hotel', Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans.

There is a reason why these leading lights of the hospitality industry are literally up in arms against single-use plastics. India is the third largest generator of greenhouse gas emissions, according to The Wire’s recent report and household waste generates about 1.9% of the total emissions. Plastic products produced 17.8 million metric ton (MMT) of total waste in 2018, and is expected to cross 20MMT in 2021. Of this, 58% goes to the landfill or is termed as waste. The government targets to collect and recycle 60% of this by 2030.

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