14 ITC Luxury Collection Hotels to Eliminate Single-Use Plastics by October-end

It's curtains for 1.5 crore water bottles, 15 lakh straws, 800,000 stirrers and 700,000 earbuds

ALL LUXURY Collection hotels of ITC 14 super-premium addresses with a combined inventory of 4,150 keys will go 100 per cent single-use plastic-free in their front-of-the-house operations by the end of October. The back of the house of these hotels will also be freed from single-use plastic by the end of December.

Announcing this initiative, H.C. Vinayaka, Vice President, Technical, EHS and Sustainability, ITC Hotels, said the twin initiatives would reduce the plastic consumption of the participating hotels by 250,000 kilos a year. The key contributors of this waste, which has been held responsible for causing widespread damage to our ecosystem, include 1.5 crore water bottles, 15 lakh straws, 800,000 stirrers, 800,000 toothbrushes, 700,000 earbuds, and 300,000 shoe shine accessories.

The war on plastic waged by ITC Hotels is in sync with its philosophy of 'responsible luxury' and the spirit of the Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016 (amended in 2018) and is very much in tune with the Prime Minister Independence Day call to make India single-use plastic-free.

Explaining the philosophy of 'responsible luxury', Nakul Anand, Executive Director, ITC Limited, said it was embedded in India's "centuries-old sacred relationship with her environment" and its tradition of "sustenance and nurture". Responsible luxury, Anand said, is "luxury without compromising the planet and sustainability without compromising luxury."

Vinayaka said the twin initiatives were set in motion some months back after a 360-degree mapping of all plastic items used in the 14 participating hotels. "We listed 350 individual plastic items that are in use in the hotels," Vinayaka said, adding: "As many as 160 of these were made with single-use plastic. And out of these 160 items, 30-40 were in use in front of the house. These are the plastics we targeted first."

It's not enough to eliminate plastics. You must have a tamper-proof bottling plant in the hotel. All glass bottles served to guests in restaurants or in their rooms must come sealed, and must be washed and disinfected after each use. The water quality at the bottling plant must be monitored at regular intervals.

Likewise, the quality of paper straws must be such that they don't turn soggy or disintegrate. And wooden stirrers just won't do -- you can't cut forests for wood to eliminate plastics. At ITC Hotels, for instance, bamboo stirrers are in vogue, and if the wood is used, then it must carry a Forest Stewardship Council certified. Sustainability, after all, is about the entire ecosystem. "The next time you check-in at an ITC Luxury Collection hotel, you must know you're paying for sound sleep and a safer planet," Vinayaka said.

Reminding us that "ITC Hotels has been adopting sustainable practices for over two decades," Dipak Haksar, Chief Executive, ITC Hotels and WelcomHotel, said: "We believe that for us to work towards a larger sustainable agenda, we need to choose partners and vendors with similar beliefs. As part of our 'greening the supply chain' initiative, we ensure that we sensitise our vendors and partners towards sustainable practices, thus eliminating the challenge at its root." It's not enough to apply brakes on the use of single-use plastics. It's more important to create a sustainable ecosystem.


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Eliminate Single-Use Plastics H.C. VINAYAKA

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