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You may remember the advice given to Ben in ‘The Graduate “There is a great future in plastics.”’ Indeed there was. Since 1967 9.1bnt have been manufactured, 6.3bnt have been turned to waste. A mere 9% has been recycled, 12% has been incinerated (more greenhouse gases), and 79% is accumulating, much of it in gyros in our oceans. The science is clear, plastics are, after carbon, arguably our number one environmental threat. What can those of us in tourism do to address the problem? There is an alternative. Refuse Single Use Plastic.
San Francisco has become the first city in America to ban the sale of water in plastic bottles.
The industry needs to do more to encourage guests not to use plastics. In CGH Earth hotels guests are provided with cloth bags to use when shopping and the bathroom toiletries come in attractive reusable earthenware flasks. At CGH Earth’s Brunton Boatyard property they used to get through 15,000 bottles of water each year. They have installed a reverse osmosis water purifier and now serve water in reusable, and very stylish, glass bottles. The guests have a habit of taking them home so they are going to start selling the bottles in the hotel shop.
& Beyond has a similar plant at Phinda Private Game Reserve, where the bottling plant provides both still and sparkling water, known as “wild” and “tame” on &Beyond’s specially designed glass water bottles.
The tourism industry could do better than that. It already is: