4.19.18

Stay Plastic Free: The New Environmental Initiative by AHL Founder Ben Pundole

Encouraging hotels to stop offering single-use plastics

  • If you’ve followed A Hotel Life over the last few years, you know how vocal we are about our passion for the environment. The more time we spend on this planet, the more we appreciate the natural gifts it provides. And our tendency towards travel only means there’s more of it to explore. For that reason it can be disheartening to see the kind of damage the environment has to constantly endure, especially by our hand.

    A Hotel Life founder Ben Pundole has been a keen observer of this, specifically noting the devastating effect we’ve had on our oceans and the wildlife within it. Plastic is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to water pollution, but the problem is so monumental—it’s estimated that 8 million tonnes of plastic will go into the ocean in 2018 alone—that most people can’t even conceive tackling the issue. Earlier this year, Ben  decided he couldn’t sit idly by, and he saw an opportunity to enact change in the way he knows best: hotels. That’s when Stay Plastic Free was born, with the goal of improving sustainability in hospitality.

    As the VP of Brand Experience at the EDITION Hotels, Ben had the perfect place to start, but first he had to confront the reality. In 2017, the London EDITION used tens of thousands of plastic bottles, and over 500,000 plastic straws. Not this year; Stay Plastic Free’s initiative has already made an impact in 2018. Plastic straws have been removed, with paper straws available upon request. Bottled water is being replaced with cartons, and the staff will be provided with reusable stainless steel bottles and water fountains. Coasters are now made from recycled plastic from plastic deposits in the ocean. Even guest toothbrushes are now made from bamboo. Most of these changes have extended to the EDITION’s other properties, but that’s just the start.

    For Ben, Stay Plastic Free isn’t about the EDITION, but rather the entire hotel industry, where materials are rapidly used and discarded in large quantities. The campaign is about getting other hotels to follow suit and be conscious of the amount of single-use plastic they’re using. You can get involved too, by supporting hotels and businesses that are implementing sustainable practices, and urging all of the other ones that we all know and love to do the same. So before celebrating Earth Day this Sunday, we encourage you to stay informed and spread the message. A Hotel Lifers share a lot in common like our adventurous spirits, our fascination with culture, and our penchant for late nights. But above all we indulge fully in the world around us, which is why we have to be pro-active in preserving it.

    Connect with Stay Plastic Free at @stayplasicfree 

  • [Illustration: @briannalance]