As Meliá Hotels International works towards a plastic-free environment at its properties, the Spanish hotel group is making sure that what plastic it does use is having minimal impact on our planet. Meliá Hanoi and Meliá Ba Vi Mountain Retreat are the first hotels in Vietnam to launch PlasticShreds, an upcycle initiative that repurposes plastic already in circulation.
The initiative, organized by the global cleaning and hygiene products manufacturer Diversey, converts single-use plastic into plastic chips that are then combined with bitumen or asphalt for smoothing surfaces from roads to badminton courts.
“While plastic waste is a global problem, certain countries are experiencing the issue more than others,” said Ignacio Martin, Managing Director Southeast Asia at Meliá Hotels International. “Vietnam is one of the most stricken countries in the world – when it comes to plastic pollution – and we have to play our part to tackle the problem from all angles, by removing, reusing, and recycling.”
A core element of the PlasticShreds program is removing and replacing plastic as the first priority, which is in line with Meliá’s own sustainability mission. Meliá properties have been actively working to reduce single-use plastic since 2018 and have already banned certain products, such as single-use plastic straws, replacing them with more natural alternatives.
Since 2019, Meliá Ba Vi has been replacing plastic amenities with eco – friendly products. By the end of this year, the resort plans to completely eliminate single-use plastic packaging and carrier bags, and to continue phasing out plastic for glass water bottles. Meliá Hanoi will replace all plastic bottles with glass bottles by the end of this year.
While the final destinations of Meliá’s plastic chips are still to be determined, similar projects have been successful overseas in roads and pavements in India and Malaysia. According to Diversey a 20-meter long pavement construction could use as much as 172 liters of plastic chips – roughly the amount created by 8,200 500ml bottles. For the launch event at Meliá Hanoi the hotel collected 3,000 bottles that were then used to help educate interested guests and team members on how to use the PlasticShreds machine. Moving forward the machine will be moved between the Meliá properties, allowing them to shred plastic on-site.
Meliá has partnered with Diveresy on several sustainability projects, such as Linens For Life and Soap for Hope. Both initiatives involve transforming materials such as leftover soap and old linen, into new (sterilized) soap bars and products for people in need, such as all-purpose bags, sleeping bags and soft toys for children, and school uniforms.