BeMed’s Business Club first pilot project “Towards a zero single-use plastic hotel” has entered its operational phase and is currently being tested at the InterContinental Marseille – Hotel Dieu. Solutions to eliminate, reduce or replace the 18 prioritized single-use plastics are gradually being deployed within the hotel. From the reception area to the room, including the restaurant buffet, a communication program is in place to accompany and inform about the new products and practices in line with the hotel’s environmental approach. So what changes are taking place?
The kit offered to children on arrival has been revamped and now includes a treasure hunt and a coloring book instead of plastic toys. As far as food is concerned, bulk food is dominant at the buffet, with sugar bowls, tea jars and butter sticks on butter dishes instead of individual packaged portions. As for room service, it is possible to ask for a hot chocolate with fresh milk in order to eliminate the plastic pods. Bathroom amenities, such as toothbrushes and manicure sets, are no longer available in the room but are now available on demand without plastic packaging. Guests can also choose between single-use and reusable cotton pads.
Glass bottles with filtered water filled in water fountains are replacing plastic bottles throughout the hotel, for the moment only for events of less than 50 participants.
A number of alternatives initially identified were not pursued because of inconclusive pre-tests: silicone orange juice lids lost their sparkle and texture when washed, toothpaste tablets were too expensive, and the reusable cornstarch shower cap had to be used more than 250 times before it had a lower environmental impact than the disposable cap.
The test of these alternatives will last 3 months, after which an evaluation will measure the impact of the project on environmental, economic and social acceptability aspects. Based on the results of the test, some alternatives may be implemented on a permanent basis. This first experience will be a real asset to launch a new pilot project in Tunisia, which will then be adapted to the context and challenges of La Badira hotel in Hammamet.