Six Senses has always believed in taking guests beyond destinations into new experiences and cultures, so they feel the purpose behind their travels. But the past few years have provoked a renewed appreciation that exploration and escape go hand in hand with thinking about the impact this has on the environment and local communities.
As a sustainability pioneer within the hospitality industry, Six Senses has set a goal towards plastic freedom and committed to weaving long-term positive change into the fabric of every property.
Following its pledge as a founding signatory of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative in 2019, efforts to eliminate single-use plastic are on track. This includes eliminating the brand’s “18 Most Unwanted” items, everything from guest amenities to behind-the-scenes material such as coffee pods and fruit packaging. It also means sourcing plastic-free products, arranging packaging take-back, bottling drinking water on-property and sharing best practices.
In 2021, Six Senses collaborated with the U.S. Coalition on Sustainability and SustainChain as part of a Plastic Free 2022 strategy to remove and avoid all virgin plastic materials from its hotel and spa operations.
By the end of this year, Six Senses will have:
- Eliminated all unnecessary plastic packaging of bathroom amenities, room amenities and retail spaces.
- Introduced more reusable solutions in kitchens to replace cling film and plastic packaging of fresh products.
- Sourced naturally compostable packing and other materials where appropriate by engaging with suppliers.
- Worked with other hotels and industry partners to share best practices, supplier recommendations and other information to help all stakeholders move away from plastic.
- Eliminated more than 1.5 million plastic bottles each year by bottling its own drinking water in reusable glass bottles.
- Used natural materials to substitute everything from plastic straws to toothbrushes, and also crates, cloth bags, bottles and containers that can be reused and refilled.
“When the world woke up to plastic straws, we realized we need to go much further to continue to lead on sustainability in the hospitality industry, so back in 2017, we set the audacious goal of eliminating all unnecessary plastics,” said Jeff Smith, VP, sustainability, Six Senses. “This journey began with an inventory of all remaining plastics, once straws and bottles had been eliminated, and now continues with supplier engagement, seeking natural materials and adopting circular solutions. Our solution to plastic waste is to avoid it before it happens.”
The group-wide journey to banish the “18 Most Unwanted” plastic items will be showcased and celebrated over the coming months via the local resorts’ Instagram reels, from guest amenities to packaging. The brand will also issue a summary of elimination numbers early next year.