Accor to Eliminate Single-use Plastics by 2022

PARIS—Accor has made a commitment to join the UN Global Tourism Plastics Initiative and to remove all single-use plastic items in the guest experience from its hotels by the end of 2022.

This action by Accor toward reducing environmental impacts and strengthening efforts to combat plastic pollution of the world’s oceans and other natural environments is a significant step forward for the global hospitality industry and for the group, which has been committed to sustainability for many years, the company reports.

“We are aware of the significant impact we have on our planet and our responsibility to create tangible benefits for our employees, guests, suppliers, partners and host communities,” said Sébastien Bazin, chairman/CEO, Accor. “What guides us is the consciousness and social awareness that drives every person who strives to be a good citizen. It’s about being aware, socially conscious and consistent.”

In addition to its previous commitment to eliminate all plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds, today’s new commitment includes the following:

  • The removal of individual plastic toiletry amenities and cups by the end of 2020
  • The elimination of all remaining single-use plastic items in guestrooms, meeting areas, restaurants and all leisure activities areas (spas, fitness centers, etc.) by the end of 2022

Single-use plastics are defined as disposable items that are used only once and then discarded. Examples include plastic straws, cotton buds, coffee stirrers, plastic cups, plastic bags for laundry or extra pillows, plastic water bottles, all plastic packaging (for food, welcome products, etc.), plastic takeaway dishes and tableware, plastic gifts and welcome products (toiletries, slippers, pencils, etc.), and plastic keycards.

Relevant alternatives to plastic will be proposed for each specific item, considering life-cycle assessments to ensure better environmental performance for the solution proposed to the hotels.

With more than 200 million single-use plastic items used every year in all areas, hotels are already reducing significantly their impact. Several have deployed effective solutions by choosing more sustainable alternatives. For instance:

  • 94% of Accor’s hotels have eliminated the use of straws, cotton buds and stirrers. The remaining 6% (mostly in China) will do it by end of March 2020.
  • 89% of Ibis’ hotels are using dispensers for amenities like shampoo. This means 2,087 Ibis family hotels have already dropped single-use plastic for this equipment. Accor Ibis family hotels in Latin America will follow the same initiative this year.
  • Fairmont has used new construction and renovation standards in another example of one of the brand’s efforts. Its hotels incorporate water filtration taps in guestrooms to eliminate bottled water altogether.
  • The new brand Greet is plastic free. There is no disposable plastic at breakfast and reusable dishes are utilized for butter and jam. In addition, there is no disposable plastic in rooms and other parts of the hotels. Accor plans to open 10 more Greet hotels in Europe this year.

The Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, led by the UN Environment Programme and the World Tourism Organization in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, draws a line in the sand in the fight against plastic waste and pollution. Governments and businesses, such as Accor, commit to a set of ambitious targets.