Significant waste reduction by saving over 600,000 disposable plastic items in hotels
Hamburg, Palma de Mallorca, 25 October 2022. The sustainability initiative Futouris e.V. and its members have implemented numerous measures to reduce plastic waste in partner hotels on Mallorca and Ibiza. At the beginning of October, a final event took place on Mallorca, where the results were presented and solutions were exchanged.
In 2019, the Futouris members decided to actively engage in reducing plastic waste on Balearic Islands. They were supported by the government of the Balearic Islands, local organisations such as Save The Med and Travel Without Plastic were won as implementation partners. The aim was not only to reduce the plastic waste generated by tourism, but also to improve the recycling rate.
To achieve the goal, innovative measures were developed and tested in practice by hotel businesses. Due to the Corona pandemic and the resulting travel restrictions and hotel closures, the implementation of measures started in autumn 2021.
A test of four different alternatives to commonly used single-use plastic products at the ROBINSON Cala Serena provided valuable insights into the savings potential as well as the acceptance of the products by guests and employees.
In order to ensure the support of the employees in the implementation of the plastic reduction measures, five interactive workshops were held in hotels of two hotel chains at the start of the season. More than 130 hotel employees learned about possible reduction measures and discussed solutions to pre-identified challenges in role-plays.
Thanks to the support of local partner organisations and the commitment of the project hotels, more than 405,000 plastic water bottles were eliminated through the installation of water dispensers and more than 207,000 shampoo and shower gel bottles through the use of local refillable personal care products.
The hotel partners involved were very satisfied with the measures implemented and the results. They welcomed the cooperation with Futouris as well as with the implementation partners and continue to work on reducing single-use plastic.
“Saving single-use plastic is an important part of our sustainability commitment for the TUI hotel brands and not only on the Balearic Islands. The Futouris project has shown how important it is to involve the professional staff in the hotels, from housekeeping to purchasing, in the development of alternative solutions. We are happy to test innovative products and will continue to work hard for a circular economy in our facilities,” says Miguel Galmés Schwarz, responsible for sustainability at the hotel brands ROBINSON, TUI MAGIC LIFE and TUI BLUE.
Yannik Erhart, CEO of Universal Beach Hotels adds: “The support from Futouris and the local partners has been enormously helpful in implementing our sustainability initiatives. Especially in the areas of end-customer communication and staff training, this cooperation has provided us with important impulses to ensure the success of this project.”
“Since 2019, R2 has stepped up measures to replace plastic and unsustainable items with greener ones. The interactive staff workshops conducted have been very helpful in motivating our staff to actively support our plastic reduction strategy.” summarises Blanca Rioja from R2 Hotels.
In the frame of the project several practical tools have been developed that are available free of charge to all tourism businesses worldwide. The Futouris Plastic Guidance (available in English and Spanish) or the Spanish e-learning on plastic reduction and maintenance of hygiene standards support businesses to implement their own plastic management system, to find sustainable alternatives to common single-use plastic products and to communicate the implemented measures and achievements to staff and guests.
Next spring, an additional workshop is planned on the Canary Islands to make results and solutions available to other hotels.
An overview of all measures and solutions as well as the results that were implemented and achieved within the framework of the project:
TUI MAGIC LIFE Cala Pada
Installation of five water dispensers on the hotel premises where guests can fill up their reusable drinking bottle free of charge + Sale of reusable bottles in the hotel.
- Almost 200,000 large and small plastic water bottles = about 5.4 tonnes of plastic.
- Cost savings: Approx. 21,000 euros per season
ROBINSON Cala Serena
Test of four different alternatives to single-use plastic products:
- Aluminium-free, compostable coffee capsules
- Refillable dispenser bottles for body care products
- Washable bin bags
- Cleaning device based on an oxidised water solution for general cleaning agents and glass cleaners
Savings potential when using the tested products in the hotel per year:
- Reduction of plastic waste by 100% when switching to reusable bin bags, waste reduction by almost 90% when using refillable shampoo bottles.
- Significant cost reduction by up to 64%
Universal Beach Hotels
- Conduction of interactive employee workshops, 98% of employees feel well informed about sustainability measures after the workshop.
- Installation of water dispensers in all 17 hotels, promotion of reusable drinking bottles.
- Use of local personal care products in dispensers that are cleaned and refilled so that the bottles remain in the cycle.
- Installation of a waste separation system in all hotels for improved waste recycling.
- 205,500 plastic water bottles (baseline 2019)
- 207,000 shampoo and shower gel bottles through refilling
Conduction of interactive staff workshops, 100% of staff support the sustainability measures and can communicate them to guests.
Reducing the plastic waste generated by tourism and improving the recycling of unavoidable plastic waste on Balearic Islands – these are the goals of the industry project "Plastic-free holidays on the Balearic Islands" the Futouris members are implementing together with the Government of the Balearic Islands.