Reducing single-use plastic in Bangkok
There is much talk about single-use plastic and its effects on the planet. I am encouraged to learn of efforts to reduce its use in the hospitality industry here in Thailand and Asia.
Visions of the Great Plastic Garbage Patch the size of Eastern Australia swirl in my mind – it is a HUGE floating ‘soup’ of discarded plastic waste.
One of a number of massive garbage patches in our seas. ANYTHING we can do to rid ourselves of this man-made mess by responsible and committed groups gets my vote and support.
Thailand is listed among some of the world’s worst offenders for single-use plastic use.
When I learnt that the Akaryn Hotel Group here in Thailand has pledged to become a single-use plastic free hotel group by 2020 it caught my attention.
Baby steps to start. After-all a journey starts with a single step and all that. We have to start somewhere and there is no better time than NOW!
The hotel group made the pledge during a press conference to announce the group’s soon to open akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok Hotel.
Akaryn Hotel Group founder and managing director, Anchalika Kijkanakorn, established Pure Blue Foundation (PBF) which is the group’s charity organisation that supports marine conservation projects in Thailand.
It will work with AHG properties to offer stainless steel water bottles to guests when they make a donation to the foundation.
“The akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok Hotel is taking the lead on this initiative by becoming the first new hotel in Asia to launch without single-use plastic in its rooms or food and beverage outlets.
“This will be followed by akyra Manor Chiang Mai, which is on track to be free of single-use plastic by August this year,” she added.
Upon check-in, guests at akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok guest will be given an opportunity to donate to the foundation in order to get a stylish Pure Blue Foundation branded stainless steel water bottle that can be refilled throughout their stay.
Self-service drinking water dispensers will be located on every floor of the new hotel to make refills easy and guests will be encouraged to take their bottles with them on excursions around the city.
“We are also encouraging our partners and suppliers to adopt a more environmentally sensitive approach to business, to extend a zero plastic policy into the wider Bangkok community,” she said.
Inspired by AKARYN Group’s determination, gym founder Richard Cohen of the Lab decided to become the first company to collaborate with Pure Blue Foundation’s plastic-free initiative. To mark the collaboration, he joined Ms. Kijkanakorn at akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok to sign a plastic-free declaration. Anchalika then presented 100 reusable stainless steel bottles to Richard who will introduce them as a new standard for members to use at his gyms, one of which is just a short walk from the hotel.