Zero Waste Week 2021

Zero Waste Week 2021

We look at the steps a hotel can take towards becoming a zero-waste business.

  • Dawn Whittle
  • Published on September 3, 2021

This month celebrates Zero Waste Week 2021. A campaign running from 6th to 10th September, raising awareness about the impact waste has on the environment.

Individuals, businesses and organisations are encouraged to join in and reduce the amount of waste they send to landfill.

We look at the steps a hotel can take towards becoming a zero waste business.

How can a hotel become zero waste?

In a competitive and overcrowded market, hoteliers are constantly seeking ways to stand out from their competitors. Meanwhile, today's guests are becoming more mindful and environmentally conscious, seeking not only quality, comfort, and location but sustainability and eco-awareness from their hotel, too.

Moving towards zero waste sounds daunting, but hotels can achieve this in small steps taken over time, rather than making significant and drastic changes to your business.

Achieving a zero waste milestone not only proves to your guests that you care about the impact your hotel has on the planet but that you also care about meeting their expectations when seeking an environmentally conscious hotel.

What does zero waste mean?

Zero waste is all about introducing strategies to manage waste and ultimately avoid having any waste at all. Reducing the amount of waste destined for landfill will have the most impact. We can achieve this by reducing, reusing and recycling as much as we can.

How to begin your journey to becoming a zero waste hotel?

Assess where the waste is generated across all areas of your hotel, such as housekeeping, kitchen, front office, linen rooms, and maintenance and facilities.

Your hotel waste inventory should separate recyclable waste and non-recyclable waste (waste destined for landfill). This will enable you to understand where and how to reduce waste across your property and introduce an effective strategy.

Becoming more mindful of what and how much you throw away will also help to save money. For example, you could be ordering too much food that it goes off before it is eaten, so buying smaller amounts will cut costs and waste!

Zero waste tips for hotels

- Replace single-use plastics such as water bottles, toiletries and packaging with refillable dispensers
- Assess how much perishable items are thrown away and reduce the amount you order
- Swap plastic straws for biodegradable versions
- Audit your suppliers and switch to those who use recyclable packaging or who have an environmental strategy in place
- Introduce a recycling scheme for paper and cardboard, aluminium cans, plastic packaging and glass bottles and food composition

Once your hotel zero waste strategy is in action, assess the changes to your waste patterns and monitor the difference in what you're throwing away.

By keeping your teams updated with progress and celebrating key milestones, you'll soon be leading the way to becoming a zero-waste hotel.