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Phuket hotels pledge to eradicate plastics from all properties

In a revolutionary eco-friendly move that some other hotel chains across the world have already echoed, all hotels in Phuket, Thailand have signed a pledge committing to a plastic-free future, the measures for which will be taken starting now. The "Phuket Pledge" was signed last week by leading Phuket hotels and tourism groups during the celebration of Phuket Hotels for Islands Sustaining Tourism Forum 2018 (PHIST).

Phuket hotels pledge to eradicate plastics from all properties

Committing to a greener future free of plastics is the latest move by Phuket hotels to up their green credentials and add to their sustainable practices. With the aim of preserving the island’s fragile ecosystem and thus protect tourism, leading hotels and tourism groups signed the “Phuket Pledge” over the last week of September, vowing to eradicate the use of single-use plastics from their premises, for good.

The agreement was signed during the Phuket Hotels for Islands Sustaining Tourism Forum 2018 (PHIST) in a way that hopes to set an example for other islands in Asia to work towards becoming more sustainable and embrace sustainability as a core value whilst setting tangible, measurable goals for long-term, permanent change.

The pledge signed is a commitment to not only move towards eradicating single-use plastics across all hotels and resorts, but also to reuse and recycle them wherever possible before they are forever banished from all hotel premises. All those who signed, including tourism groups and other stakeholders in Phuket’s tourism industry, also vowed to create an educational youth community programme aimed at raising awareness of the critical problems surrounding plastic usage on the island.

Speaking about the issue at hand, Bernhard Bohnenberger, President of Six Senses Hotels Resorts and Spas explained:

“Plastic reduction has been at the core of our company sustainability efforts for over a decade. The industry is finally waking up to this issue, but we need coordination and action to make tangible change and see results. This is what we hope PHIST will go a long way to achieving.”

Backed by the Thailand Ministry of Sports and Tourism, the move for Phuket to become plastic-free across the board is an ambitious step forward towards reducing their carbon footprint and alleviating the dire impact plastics has on the ocean as one of its worst pollutants. Keeping their underwater world and corals in optimum health is key to continuing to attract visitors and holidaymakers, so it became quite clear that Phuket must do all it can to keep its shores pristine.

Addressing this urgent need, Anthony Lark, President of Phuket Hotel Association and Managing Director of Trisara added:

“We need to fight for Phuket. It is as simple as that. And we can’t do it alone. We need to do it together […] We hope the Phuket Pledge will be a start and ultimately become a model for us and other islands regionally to come together for the sake of sustainable island tourism in Asia.”

This is not the only eco-friendly move to be carried out in Thailand in recent months. Earlier this year, the country made a huge pro-climate, environmentally-conscious stand with the closing of Maya Bay in Phi Phi island, a popular tourism enclave while Philippines’ Boracay Island was shut to the public. Both beach destinations were closed down to allow for environmental regeneration.

The Phuket Pledge follows the lead of other international hotel chains like Melia, Sandals, Iberostar or AMResorts, who have all already put new plans in place to ban single-use plastics from their properties. All have started an action plan to reduce plastics starting immediately.

This points to a global movement, and we say, it’s about time. The need for swift action against the adverse effects of climate change resonates stronger than ever all over the world and we hope that the tourism industry continues to lead and improve sustainable measures.

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