Plastic Smart - a GREENMark

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The following irish Businesses have implemented the Plastic Smart GREENMark

Ashford Castle
The Lodge at Ashford Castle 

The programme is designed to place the Irish Hospitality & Tourism Sector at the forefront of the War Against Plastic and show that the sector is not alone concerned about its environmental responsibilities but willing to take direct actions to reduce its impact.   (If you are interested in achieving the Plastic Smart GREENMark click on this link

Single Use Plastics (SUPs) have been identified as one of the world’s most pressing environmental issues with millions of tons every year dumped into the seas and rivers and not alone killing sea life but enabling micro-plastics to enter the human food chain.

Many hotel and hospitality businesses around the world have already made commitments to eradicating SUPs such as Red Carnation Hotels, Marriott, Hilton, Soneva, Melia, etc. amongst the leading activist hotel companies. In Ireland the Insomnia Coffee Chain has initiated a compostable only coffee cup policy and Musgraves have committed to only using compostable cups in its coffee shops from September 2018.

The Sector should not be seen to be playing catch up but should step forward and show leadership in this area. The short-term additional costs will be outweighed by the goodwill engendered from all stakeholders, Customers, Employees, Government, Local Community, Suppliers, etc. As fully recyclable and compostable SUP’s become the norm the cost differential will decrease and we will end up with a more sustainable society.

SUP’s are used across the hospitality sector, both customer facing and behind the scenes. The GREENMark Plastic Smart programme has 2 key focuses – Minimise SUP use in customer areas and – Work with suppliers to consistently reduce other plastic items, non-reusable plastic containers and to standardise the composition of containers to ensure that they can be easily recycled.

The programme has 2 levels – Plastic Smart – Good Practice (primarily customer facing) and, in due course, Plastic Free – Best Practice (whole of property approach)

The Plastic Smart Single-Use Plastic (SUP) targets for the sector focus on customer facing areas and specifically target the following;

Eliminate – Plastic Cotton Buds, Cutlery, Plates, Straws, Stirrers, Balloons and Sticks, Plastic Bottles, Takeaway Cups and Lids, Drinks Coasters, Takeaway Food Packaging, Plastic Bags.

Minimise/Eliminate – Crisp packets, Sweet wrappers, Wet wipes, Sanitary items, In-room amenities and toiletries.

The Plastic Smart GREENMark supports the EU Directive on Single Use Plastics which bans specific SUP’s and calls for reductions and better management in others.

(Note:  Many hotels provide bathroom toiletries - shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc. in single use containers.  The GREENMark allows hotels to continue to provide these only if they are also members of the Clean the World programme (CTW).  CTW collects used bathroom toiletries and upcycles them as part of a circular economy operation.  Soaps are recycled and distributed as humanitarion hygiene supplies and all plastics are fulyl recycled and provided for remanufacturing - more information is available by clicking on the logo)

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