Cambodia is seeking to double its amount of tourists from 6 millions in 2018 to 12 millions in 2025. While this will bring economic benefits, this will also bring along a significant increase in plastic waste. What a sad news for a country already drowning in plastic bags, styrofoam, plastic bottles and much more. In addition, these economic benefits could be short-lived. Already in 2015, the Cambodian Hotel Association estimated annual foregone tourist revenue at $74 million due to poor sanitation.
So what can the industry – and especially hotels, as large contributor to plastic waste – do about it? Due to the country’s poor waste infrastructure and the alarming low rate of plastic getting recycled (only 9% of plastic gets recycled worldwide) there is only one solution to lessen this impact : REDUCING plastic use. Hotels can take many actions to reduce their plastic consumption, which would also ensure their long-term survival. According to a 2019 report by ABTA, 45% of holidaymakers said consider sustainability as an important element when booking a holiday. And this trend is only growing.
This is why we gathered 12 actions for hotels to reduce their plastic waste. We tried whenever possible to provide realistic numbers of reduction in plastic waste. For this, we took the example of an average hotel in the city with 200 rooms and an occupancy rate of 50% throughout the year.