Banyan Tree celebrates 25 years with 25% reduction of single-use plastics

Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts celebrates its 25th anniversary and Earth Day 2019 with over 25% group-wide reduction of single-use plastic in a year. The Group announced a pledge against single-use plastic in support of Earth Day 2018 theme, End Plastic Pollution. Within a year, this declaration has inspired the change across its 48 hotels worldwide and successfully eliminated 4.2 million single-use plastic items, equating to a significant 26% reduction in total usage.

Championing 25 years of sustainable development since its inception in 1994, Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts has pioneered the journey of stewardship in its commitment towards the environment and communities through its philosophy of “Embracing the Environment, Empowering People”.

Up to 80% of ocean plastic pollution originates from land. Recognising the detrimental effect of plastic on the environment and marine life, the premium hotel operator and developer implemented a plan for all its properties to phase out the use of disposable plastics.

The first year saw the strategic reduction of 31 commonly used plastic products, particularly one million plastic bags (-28%), 1.3 million plastic straws (-51%) replaced with paper, steel and bamboo straws, 1.28 million plastic bottles (-28% water bottles & -63% soft drink bottles), cocktail stirrers (-58%) and plastic-wrapped minibar items (-72%).

Aimed to be launched this year towards overall plastic reduction, the Group’s lifestyle retail arm – Banyan Tree Gallery, is developing sustainable alternatives for its range of guests’ amenities such as cotton buds, combs and toothbrushes. Banyan Tree’s reformulated body and aromatherapy products are made of 95% natural botanical ingredients which are sustainably sourced. The 18-month research and development extended across the value chain of both its packaging and ingredients so as to create the best possible products for people and the environment.

“This is a positive first step in the right direction, considering the magnitude of Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts’ ultimate plastic-free goal. The hospitality and tourism industry as a whole is a major consumer of this planet’s resources, often providing one-time use products on mass scales,” says Dr Steve Newman, Assistant Vice President/Group Sustainability Director.

“Looking at the links between human activities, plastic pollution and biodiversity loss with environmental degradation, this presents a unique opportunity for our Group to impact and drive change on global plastic consumption amongst our stakeholders especially the suppliers. As a pioneer with ongoing stewardship in sustainability, the Group remains committed to our pledge to eliminate single-use plastic and continues to embed climate change within our sustainability efforts and projects.”

This year, in line with the Earth Day 2019 theme ‘Protect Our Species’, Banyan Tree reinforces its efforts to safeguard the natural environment and biodiversity. With many resorts located in eco-sensitive and protected areas, the Group is dedicated to conserving the environment.

In addition, its dedicated Marine Labs, a first in the Maldives, and Conservation Lab in Bintan support conservation through research, restoration and awareness programmes. In 2018, the Group conducted annual monitoring of 18 coral reef sites and shark populations in the Maldives and three reef sites in Bintan, while seven Banyan Tree properties organised turtle awareness talks and hatchling releases. Laguna Golf Lang Co is an edible course with paddy fields, farmers and buffalos while Laguna Golf Phuket and Bintan use recycled water from the hotels for irrigation as sustainable golf courses.

Driven by Banyan Tree Global Foundation, the non-profit arm (an integral part of the management’s framework) focuses on directing social and environmental responsibility across the Group. Highlighting the power of responsible tourism to promote positive change, Banyan Tree continually educates and involve guests, associates and the community to actively do their part for the environment.

Designed for travellers who champion sustainable development, the 25th Anniversary “Exceptional Experiences” Celebratory Offer includes the choice of a complimentary Exceptional Experience to celebrate the Community with a Sustainable Activity.  It includes 25% savings on rooms (Best Available Rate), food and beverage, Spa and Gallery retail and the signature 25th Anniversary Cocktail – The Botanical.

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