Centara Hotels & Resorts, Thailand’s leading hotel operator, is marking this year’s World Environment Day (5th June) and Ocean Day (8th June) events with a month-long campaign to raise awareness of the scourge of plastic waste while encouraging guests and staff to join the effort to rid beaches of discarded plastic trash.
The initiative features sculpted sea creature-cum-trash-bins named POP — short for “Plastic Only, Please” — that guests can “feed” the plastic waste they pick up in and around the beach.
Pop will be popping up at 12 Centara properties around Thailand and Maldives. Each time the plastic-hungry sea life creatures fill up with collected plastic trash, Centara’s waste management teams will remove the contents, weigh the trash and prepare it for sorting and delivery to local recycling facilities. Rather than adding more plastic garbage to further exacerbate local land pollution and fill nearby landfills, these plastic eating creatures will provide a first-line waste management filter, diverting reusable plastic materials to be recycled into new items instead of going straight to the garbage.
Both the World Environment Day and Ocean Day events are part of the growing worldwide plastic reduction movement that has gained significant traction in recent years. Eliminating single-use plastic items is a key priority of the 2019 Centara Earth Care programme, a company-wide initiative aimed at encouraging hotel guests and tourists to be proactive about energy saving and sustainable environmental tourism.
Centara’s sustainability plan covers five types of single-use plastic items, including drinking straws, laundry bags, take-away food containers, fitness centre and poolside plastic bottles, and plastic guest room amenities. They are being replaced with items made from materials designed to minimise environmental impact. The single-use plastic straws being eliminated take up to 200 years to decompose; the new bio-straws replacing them decompose within six months.