Achieving New Milestones
in Responsible Hospitality:
Eliminating Plastics
at IHCL Hotels
In response to changing consumer preferences and a growing demand for sustainable practices, the Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) embarked on a mission to eliminate plastics from its hotels. By replacing plastic water bottles, bathroom amenities, and room keys with biodegradable alternatives, IHCL aimed to enhance the guest experience while meeting evolving expectations for sustainable and eco-friendly practices. This initiative aligned with the company's commitment to responsible and environmentally conscious hospitality.
IHCL implemented a comprehensive two-phased plan to reduce plastics across its hotels.
Phase 1: Reduction in Plastic Water Bottles
IHCL introduced in-house water bottling plants and transitioned from single-use plastic bottles to reusable glass bottles. IHCL collaborated with technology providers, material suppliers, and recycling partners to implement in-house water bottling plants and transition to reusable glass bottles. Some of the challenges faced included technological considerations, ensuring the availability of glass bottles, compliance with regulatory requirements set by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), and addressing consumer preferences for plastic usage.
Phase 2: Eliminating plastics from bathroom amenities, amenity packaging and room keys
In phase 2, plastic packaging for bathroom amenities is being addressed through engagement with suppliers and experts specializing in sustainable packaging solutions. Some solutions include use of refillable ceramic dispensers for soap, shampoo, conditioner and bodywash, biodegradable toothbrushes and earplugs, and jute or cotton laundry bags, choosing tea, coffee and snacks with non-plastic packaging, and substituting wooden material for plastics in keycards. Some of the challenges faced were sourcing suitable paper packaging materials that meet quality standards, ensuring compatibility with various amenities, maintaining guest satisfaction, and coordinating the phased implementation across multiple hotels.
Through the process, across both phases, IHCL achieved significant milestones:
100% elimination of plastic straws, avoiding the consumption of two million plastic straws
Across 18 hotels, IHCL saved over 60% of plastic bottle waste compared to the baseline year of FY 2019-20 and prevented the use of 36 tonnes of plastic in FY2023 alone
In FY2024, IHCL aims to save approximately 110 tonnes of plastic waste by replacing plastic bathroom amenity packaging with paper
Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Andamans was recognized as India's first "Zero Single-Use Plastic Hotel”
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Last updated on 07th July 2024