Gabriel Escarrer, executive vice-president and CEO of Meliá Hotels International, has announced that Meliá Hotels International will eliminate all single-use plastics in all its hotels within the year.
The move will see plastic bottles, cups, bags, straws and coasters immediately replaced by reusable items, with the elimination saving more than 15 tons of CO2 emissions generated by waste disposal per year.
Over 22 million plastic bottles were disposed of at Meliá Hotels International properties globally during 2017. The decision to eliminate these will significantly reduce plastic pollution from the company, as well as serving to raise awareness of the issue among the 30 million customers who visit Meliá Hotels International properties each year.
“Great customer experiences have to be compatible with respect for the planet. Plastic pollution is a global challenge which affects all destinations and tourism business…”
Meliá Hotels International has been named one of the world’s leading companies in combating climate change by the “Carbon Disclosure Project” index, due to the group’s drive toward reducing its impact on the planet.
The company acknowledges the pivotal role the tourism industry plays in the fight against climate change. According to the Global Risk Report, four of the five biggest risks to the tourism industry over the next 10 years are related to climate change, ranging from extreme weather to water shortages.
Escarrer believes in the fundamental role that companies must play in contributing to the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, and affirmed that the business world, institutions and society in general have to get involved and work together in combating climate change and tackling other major global challenges.
“Great customer experiences have to be compatible with respect for the planet. Plastic pollution is a global challenge which affects all destinations and tourism business depends on the sustainability of destinations, something of which we are very aware at Meliá Hotels International as an international leader in resort hotels,” said Escarrer. “Combatting climate change and reducing emissions has been part of our strategy for years, with well-established energy efficiency programs in hotels and agreements with suppliers regarding the exclusive use of renewable energy. The company has also taken further steps toward combating climate change by assuming the commitments defined at the Paris Climate Summit.”