French hotel group Accor has committed to remove all single-use plastic items from its guest experience, at all hotels globally, by 2022.

As part of the pledge the group is to join the UN Global Tourism Plastic Initiative, which is being launched this month by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Tourism Organisation, in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Accor has previously committed to eliminating all plastic stirrers, straws and cotton buds from its properties, with 94 per cent of hotels already having achieved this target. The remaining 6 per cent, which the firm says are “mostly in China”, will follow suit by the end of March.

Beyond this the group has confirmed it will now remove individual toiletry amenities and plastic cups from guest rooms by the end of this year.

In addition the group says it will remove “all remaining single-use plastic items in guestrooms, meeting areas, restaurants and all leisure activities areas” by the end of 2022.

Accor says that items set to be removed include plastic bags for laundry or extra pillows, plastic water bottles, all plastic packaging (for food, welcome products, etc), plastic take-away dishes and tableware, plastic gifts and welcome products (toiletries, slippers, pencils, etc), and plastic keycards.

The group says that non-plastic alternatives will be proposed for each item, “considering Life Cycle Assessments to ensure better environmental performance for the solution proposed to our hotels”.

Accor highlighted its achievements in the fight against single-use plastic so far, including:

  • 89 per cent of Ibis properties now using shampoo dispensers rather than individual bottles
  • Its new Greet brand having plastic-free “in the brand’s DNA”, with zero disposable plastic at breakfast, reusable dishes used for butter and jam, and zero disposable plastic in rooms and other parts of the hotels
  • The group as a whole adopting the 3R Logic: Reduce, Re-use and Recycle. Accor’s headquarters will lead best practices, while hotels will enhance local initiatives and solutions to hotel guests

Hotel groups are increasingly waking up to the need to eliminate single-use plastics – in November Premier Inn’s owner Whitbread pledged to eliminate “unnecessary single-use plastics” by 2025, and groups including Hyatt, Mandarin Oriental, Marriott and IHG have all recently announced initiatives to reduce their use.

Commenting on the news Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO, Accor, said:

“We are aware of the significant impact we have on our planet and our responsibility to create tangible benefits for our employees, guests, suppliers, partners and host communities.

“What guides us is the consciousness and social awareness that drives every person who strives to be a good citizen. It’s about being aware, socially conscious and consistent.”