SM Hotels and Conventions Corp. (SMHCC) has expressed its support for the United Nations Environment Program campaign to phase out single-use plastics in the tourism sector. It has partnered with the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc. (PCEPSDI) under the Transforming Tourism Value Chains (TVC) Project and the Department of Tourism through their sustainability thrust Save Our Spots.
The UN Environment Program shares that globally, around one million plastic drinking bottles are being purchased every minute, while five trillion single-use plastic bags are used every year. Consequently, up to eight million tons of plastic are being swept to the world’s oceans annually, which in turn adversely affect marine biodiversity, communities and wildlife.
“We are glad of the continuous support of SMHCC in our initiatives towards the promotion and implementation of sustainable tourism practices in the Philippines, specifically this campaign to reduce problematic single use plastics,” June Alvarez, president and executive director of PCEPSDI said.
The campaign aims to strengthen the drive to reduce consumption of problematic single-use plastic items while strictly following health and safety protocols.
As such, all SMHCC properties engage in dedicated efforts to address the prevailing problem on the usage of plastics. Specifically, Pico Sands Hotel and Taal Vista Hotel replaced their single use amenities (shampoo and body wash) with refillable 30mL bottles and have likewise shifted to using biodegradable takeout packaging instead of microwavable plastic containers.
These properties have also stopped using individual water bottles in guest rooms. As a substitute, glass pitchers, which can be refilled outside the room, are made available. Meanwhile, Conrad Manila uses eco bags for guests’ laundry and slipper bags, and rice straws and wooden stirrers in their restaurants.
Radisson Blu Cebu advocates using paper straws, which are being served only upon request. Similarly, the packaging of the hotel’s pastry products has shifted to biodegradable full paper boxes. Collectively, all Park Inn by Radisson properties in Clark, North Edsa, Iloilo and Davao have their “Refuse the Straw” or “Skip the Straw” campaigns.