The Galway Convention Bureau has teamed up with Fifty Shades Greener to deliver a pilot programme aimed at reducing plastics and packaging from major Galway accommodation providers.
The pilot programme involved nine properties who were engaged to ultimately abolish single use plastics.
It is estimated that around 1.6m pieces of plastic are created in Ireland in just one day, from individual sauce sachets to cutlery and product wrappers. Mini toiletries are arguably the biggest plastic polluters of the hotels industry. Many large hotel chains have already made the switch to refillable dispensers and Fifty Shades Greener encourages operators to create action plans to continue reducing wastage.
Buying in bulk will reduce the amount of packaging generated by deliveries and the online platform has identified a list of items any hotel can purchase in bulk to help make the switch – as well as donating old items to external charities or organisations
The recommendation from Fifty Shades Greener is for each hotel to appoint a Green Manager, someone with authority in the property that could implement changes across all departments. Out of the nine properties in Galway working with Fifty Shades Greener, over 340,000 pieces of individual plastic wrappings are estimated to be abolished.
“It is a known fact that hotels waste thousands of euros and produce unnecessary carbon footprint every day, due to poor processes and systems implemented around their use of energy & water and production of waste. The EPA has estimated that 70% of food waste in the industry can actually be avoided. The same goes for energy & water use. It is our recommendation that destinations need to work together to reduce their carbon output,” explained Fifty Shades Greener.
Rose Finn of Galway Convention Bureau said: “A lot of work has been done but we need to do more to take centre stage with our global competitors. We’re seeing conference organisers expecting these actions to be implemented as they too have sustainable policies and targets to uphold. We need to build an innovative network in regeneration with a grounded perspective of the harsh impacts to our natural resources.”