'Everybody has to play their part': Dalata's plastic-free plans for 2020

Ireland’s biggest hotel group is on track to ban plastic toiletry bottles within six months

By Zuzia Whelan Reporter, Fora

IRELAND’S BIGGEST HOTEL group, Dalata, is aiming to eliminate miniature plastic toiletry containers from its hotels by the end of the year.

As consumers become increasingly environmentally conscious, hoteliers are trying to reduce plastic use in their businesses. 

Global hotel giant InterContinental – which operates the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza brands – recently announced that it is phasing out miniature toiletries in favour of “bulk-size bathroom amenities” by 2021.

In response to a query from Fora, Dalata CEO Pat McCann said his company has already “started to move ahead” with a similar project.

“The last order that we placed for these (miniature bottles) is done, so we’re using up the final stock,” he said.

“The little bottles themselves are recyclable, but the reality is, we know they don’t get recycled, so we’re moving away from that. By the end of this year all little shampoo bottles and those type of things will be gone from our hotels.”

Pat McCann Pat McCann
Source: Dalata

Wider strategy

McCann said Dalata will phase out plastics from its bathrooms in favour of a paper-based recyclable container. These will be rolled out across all 9,000 rooms in its Ireland and UK portfolio over the next five to six months.

Datala hopes to eventually introduce refillable units in all of its bathrooms “so there’ll be no waste at all”, McCann said.

The company – which operates the Maldron and Clayton Hotel brands and manages a portfolio of partner hotels – has allocated €1 million for environmental projects this year.

“Everybody has to play their part. We’re no different to anybody else. If we all play a part in some way it’ll have a significant impact on the environment that we all need to live in,” McCann said.

As well as phasing out plastic toiletry containers, Dalata has ditched plastic straws and rolled other initiatives to reduce electricity and heating consumption as well as food waste across its hotels.

“We’re trying to reduce anything that can’t be recycled in any form – we want to get rid of it over the next 12 to 18 months,” McCann said.

This is part of a larger trend among the Irish hotel sector, with the majority of hoteliers saying they plan to invest in initiatives to reduce the use of plastic in their businesses, according to a survey by the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF).

“Many hotels are exploring options for more environmentally sustainable approaches to providing toiletry products. This is part of a wider focus on improving environmental sustainability involving significant investment in programmes to reduce energy usage, conserve water and minimise waste production,” an IHF spokesperson said.

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