EDITION Hotels to be plastic free by 2019 in landmark anti-plastic drive
Luxury hotel brand EDITION is introducing a new initiative to ban single-use plastic from its hotels
Luxury hotel brand EDITION Hotels has announced a new sustainability initiative Stay Plastic Free, which aims to clear the hotel industry of single-use plastics and marks the brand's intention to be 100% single use plastic free by the end of Q1 2019. The campaign, developed by vice president of brand experience Ben Pundole, will bring anti-plastic activism to its existing locations in London, Miami Beach, New York and Sanya, China.
Launched on Earth Day (22 April), Pundole said the campaign has been inspired partly by Sir David Attenborough's Blue Planet II series, and will not only commit to ending single use plastics, but help provide the tools and resources to help others within the hospitality industry to follow suit by providing a range of vendors and contacts for cost-effective alternative items – such as plastic-free liquid bottles, coffee cups, straws, bathroom amenities and more.
“Until very recently, this kind of initiative didn’t happen in the luxury space and it’s only just beginning,” said Pundole. “I think it really helps that luxury brands like Gucci have committed to being a lot more sustainable. There’s been a kind of conscious approach to next steps from companies that you never thought you’d see doing this.” >>
Stay Plastic Free has already enjoyed support from ocean conservation organisations – such as The Lonely Whale Project and Project Zero – and its celebrity and scientific ambassadors, who have long warned about the unsustainable nature of single-use plastics and the effect they have on our oceans. Pundole says that luxury brands must lead the way in anti-plastics activism, as their forward-thinking clientele expect high end brands to be mindful – and proactive – about their environmental impact.
"Guests are really behind this kind of thing,” he said. “it’s the right decision even though it’s not cost neutral.” EDITION will also lead a committee of influential hoteliers to tackle the issue on an industry-wide scale, which Pundole hopes will include representatives from like-minded hotels and restaurants including London's Design Hotels, Soho House and Chiltern Firehouse.
EDITION is a partnership between Ian Schrager and Marriott International, and no doubt intends to see the campaign scale up through the ranks of its sister brands – as well as throughout its upcoming 2018 launches in Shanghai, Bangkok, Times Square New York, Bodrum, Barcelona and Abu Dhabi, and West Hollywood in early 2019.