Singapore Zoo, Hilton Hotels, Pastamania and More Say ”I Do” to Plastic Reduction

This is what real love for Singapore looks like.

You heard it on the news everyday: stranded whales found with kilograms of plastic in its stomach, microplastics in human bodies, innocent marine lives dying by ingesting plastic.

The main cause of marine plastic pollution is plastic leakage into the environment.
© Global Warming Images / WWF

This week, nine businesses in Singapore made a serious public commitment: reducing plastic use.

But making a commitment to something is probably the easiest part. What comes after (obviously the harder bit) is usually a string of promises and actions you have to keep.

Our PACT initiative, the most impactful industry commitment to-date on Plastic ACTion, gets businesses to 1) understand the real solution to addressing their plastic use, 2) commit to actions in plastic reduction and specified targets and 3) share our vision of No Plastics In Nature by 2030 and start building a circular economy where waste is turned into valuable resources.

For example, almost decade-old homegrown business SaladStop! is committed to reducing 80% of single-use plastics by 2020 and 100% by 2025 (meet its co-founder and director Katherine Braha who’s pushing the brand to go plastics-free here). This can be done by removing them from the supply chain or switching to plant-based materials.

Similarly, Wildlife Reserves Singapore made the same commitment goals to PACT. A recent visit to the Night Safari made me more aware of the brand’s emphasis in reducing plastic use by offering eco-friendly, non-woven bags in their retail outlets (not plastics) if there is a need.

Tourist destination Mediterranean Sea is one of the seas with the highest levels of plastic pollution in the world today.
© Milos Bicanski / WWF-UK

Eight million tonnes of plastics enter the ocean each year, and the travel and hospitality industry makes a huge part of it. Thankfully, hotels and destination hotspots are scaling up, too, to take action.

Popular among locals and tourists alike, properties under Hilton Hotels Singapore like Conrad Centennial Singapore and Hilton Singapore have pledged to replace single-use plastics with environmentally-friendly initiatives. This is also part of their global Travel with Purpose 2030 Goals to reduce waste output by 50%.

On the other hand, some others are more specific with their commitment.

AccorHotels Group has pledged to eliminate 100% of plastic stirrers and removing takeaway boxes and cutlery to more sustainable sources by the last quarter of 2019. And by 2021, they have dedicated themselves to reduce 50% of single-use plastic water bottles and phase out 50% of kitchen plastics.

To ensure that all plastic item alternatives are validated and have supporting documentation, the Accor group has promised to utilise a centralised procurement system.

Likewise, Ramada and Days Hotel meant real business when they made a pact to #UseLessPlastic. In a progressive approach, the hotel is looking to reduce 100% plastic bags used by room attendants by switching to non-woven reusable bags by 2020 and increasing recycling bins by 70% (including ones in in-rooms) by 2025, among others.

Time is running out. And it’s time for action.

Business owners who are looking to seriously reduce their plastic consumption but not knowing where to start, you are not alone. The best part is, there are cheaper, more sustainable alternatives available everywhere. Plus, we are not only here to give advice on the overall sustainability of commonly used materials case-by-case, we can glean from the many businesses in Singapore that are already on their way to create a culture shift: one that is without disposables.

Will you tell your favourite businesses to take action for a global crisis that is robbing our planet’s health faster than we think?

The nine businesses that are part of PACT: Udders, SaladStop!, Ramada and Days Hotels by Wyndham Singapore at Zhongshan Park, Hilton Hotels, AccorHotels Group, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, Pastamania, Kraftwich by Swissbake and Pontiac Land Group.

If you want your business and/or favourite businesses to be a part of PACT, find out more here.

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1 Comment

  • Cynthia Hoefer, February 4, 2019 @ 4:22 pm Reply

    Kudos for the businesses to look into plastic reduction. The biggest culprits are airlines with everything that you touch condemned to the plastic heap. Blankets in plastic bags, earphones in plastic bags, the food tray with disposable cutlery and tubs, the plastic cups, etc. If airlines can hand hot towels without thinking twice about sanitation, they can provide blankets and earphones that are cleaned before hand. Plus, we have to educate the customers not to accept or insist on items wrapped in plastic.

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