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5 Ways to Reduce Waste in Hotels

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In pursuit of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 12, the hospitality industry is stepping up on a global scale to tackle waste reduction, emphasizing the responsibility of hotels to manage waste responsibly and contribute to environmental preservation.

This article delves into the different types of waste generated in the hospitality sector and highlights the examples and solutions that demonstrate the industry’s commitment to waste reduction.

5 Strategies to Reduce Waste in Hotels

Food Waste

Food waste is a pressing global issue across all industries, with the WWF reporting a staggering one-third of the world’s produce going uneaten, amounting to 1.3 billion tons. In the context of hotels, food waste includes leftover meals, culinary preparation remnants, and unserved or expired food items.

Leading the charge against food waste, Hilton has implemented innovative solutions to minimize its environmental impact with a strong focus on food waste management, setting a powerful example for the industry.

Textile Waste

The hospitality industry faces a significant sustainability challenge concerning textile waste, with over 6,000 tons of textiles discarded annually. However, companies like Circ and Fibre Lab are stepping up with their expertise in textile recycling to be a possible solution. In the UK, The Textile Services Association (TSA) and Swedish company Södra joined forces in 2021 to support a project to find solutions for textile recycling within UK hotels. 

Additionally, notable hotel chains are also actively working towards a solution for recycling hotel textiles; for example, The Hilton London Metropole Hotel staff wear uniforms made from organic and recycled materials, demonstrating a clear demand for this circular solution.

Oil Waste

Oil waste is another critical concern in the hospitality sector. However, resorts like Sandals and Beaches Resorts are actively collecting used kitchen oil, which local recycling companies repurpose into biodiesel, glycerin, or soaps. These resorts also donate organic waste to pig farms and animal shelters and fruit and vegetable scraps to their landscaping teams for composting efforts.

Plastic Waste

Like other industries, plastic waste remains a pervasive issue in the hospitality industry, but Clean the World is here to be an effective and easy solution. Teaming up with hospitality partners around the world to recycle used soap and plastic bottled amenities, Clean the World’s Global Hospitality Recycling Program has diverted over 10 million kilograms (or over 22 million pounds) of waste from landfills since 2009.

In addition to global recycling initiatives, global leader Hotel Accor has pledged to eliminate single-use plastics from its guest experience by 2022, aligning with the industry’s increasing emphasis on environmental sustainability.

Water Waste

Water waste is another significant challenge within the hospitality sector. Clean the World’s recycling program actively collaborates with partners to reduce water waste. Intercontinental Hotels exemplifies a global chain committed to water conservation, implementing tools, and collaborating with stakeholders to ensure water stewardship at the basin level.

Importance of Waste Management and Understanding the Types of Waste

Efficient waste management is essential for hotels and businesses in the hospitality sector, as it ensures guest safety and satisfaction. However, with new regulations starting to be introduced gradually, such as the CSRD regulations now in the EU, correct waste management is more important now than ever. Inadequate waste management can lead to environmental harm and reputational damage, further underscoring the importance of sustainability initiatives in the hospitality industry.

The efforts highlighted in this article showcase the industry’s growing dedication to responsible waste management and environmental preservation. Major players like Hilton and Hotel Accor exemplify how businesses in the hospitality sector are taking responsible steps to combat waste, conserve resources, and contribute to a more sustainable future.

If you would like to learn more about Clean the World’s Global Hospitality Recycling Program, please click here.

Together, we can continue to strive to make the world a better place.

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