Accor headquarters in Paris.

The next major hotel operator has joined the plastics exodus, with Accor committing to remove all single-use items from its entire global hotel estate by the end of 2022.

Aligning with global initiatives from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Tourism Organisation, Accor has made the move in an effort to curb plastic pollution entering the world’s oceans as well as reducing its overall environmental impact. The company initiative builds on efforts made by both the company’s sustainability division – Planet 21 – and individual programs launched by hotels which will continue to be supported at a head office level.

The move will see more than 200 million single-use plastics removed from production and circulation. Such items include plastic straws, cotton buds, coffee stirrers, cups, plastic bags for laundry or extra pillows, water bottles, all plastic packaging (for food, welcome products, etc), take-away dishes and tableware, gifts and welcome products (toiletries, slippers, pencils, etc) and keycards. By the project’s deadline at the end of 2022, sustainable alternatives will be sourced and implemented.

All single-use plastic products will disappear from Accor Group hotels by the end of 2022.

Accor CEO, Sebastien Bazin, said the company’s sustainability endeavours will not stop once the global removal of single-use plastics has been completed.

“We are an innovative group by nature and we continuously search for more areas where we can reduce our impact on the global environment while helping our local communities in their efforts to create a healthier, more sustainable future.

“As we work to deliver on our commitments, we are grateful to our dedicated teams of employees all over the world who share our belief in making the world a better place for our guests, while they are travelling with us and even while they are not.”

Already, 94% of Accor’s hotel estate have eliminated single-use straws, cotton buds and stirrers. The remaining 6% will have completed the transition by the end of March 2020. Further, nearly 90% of the global ibis hotel portfolio have migrated to refillable dispensers for bathroom amenities, with the remaining 10% in Latin America to join the party by the end of this year.

Accor’s newest brand introduction, ‘Greet’, was designed to be plastic-free from its inception. Ten Greet hotels are in the pipeline to be opened in Europe by the end of 2020.