Finding your nearest brokers...

Latest News

One of the world’s leading hotel groups – Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group – has grasped the nettle of single-use plastic elimination

Watch Your Hotel’s Claims About Single-use Plastics

Nov 2019


One of the world’s leading hotel groups – Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group – has grasped the nettle of single-use plastic elimination and is set to ensure that no single-use plastic is used in any of its luxury hotels across the globe, by March 2021[1].

Having already tackled easier forms of plastics’ removal, swapping plastic straws and bottles for eco-friendly alternatives, Mandarin Oriental has plastic items in its restaurants and bars, its guest rooms, spas, transport operations and other areas of its business, in its sights.

The group has audited its operations for plastics and says it has already reduced eco-offensive plastic usage by 86%. It wants its hotels to share best practice and ideas about plastic elimination across the chain and is embarking on a programme of responsible procurement to source viable product alternatives. The challenge here will be one of maintaining a luxury brand through the products procured.

Mandarin’s Group Chief Executive, James Riley, has said: “as one of the more iconic luxury hotel groups we are in a strong position to drive important changes in the industry.”

Plastic usage policies are likely to appear on many hotel and hospitality business websites, as the war on plastics continues to be at the forefront of green debates.

Not living up to website claims about plastics raises the possibility of not just public exposure and negative headlines, but also potential legal ramifications, if guests should refuse to pay, having felt misled. It is essential to get your hotel’s stance on this issue right and not waiver from it, but also to have an insurance safety net in place, should any form of legal action need to be defended.

Interestingly, Californian has already passed a Bill to ban hotels from providing mini toiletries, which will come into effect in January 2023 for large hotels and a year later for smaller ones[2]. Whilst New York may soon institute laws that would result in fines of $2000, if breached[3]. Legal responsibilities around plastics are growing by the day.

Given the rapidly changing legal environment around plastics and the public’s growing awareness of climate change issues, all hospitality businesses would be advised to check their promotional collateral and get the right legal expenses cover in place. If basing your marketing around green consciousness, it is important to abide by your words and even build controls into your risk management strategies. One procurement slip-up could call your credibility and ethics into question.

If you wish to have insurance back-up to support you, should a legal issue arise, talk to a broker about your cover options. Please just use our ‘Find a Local Broker’ tool to source the right expert for you.

[1] https://www.hospitalityandcateringnews.com/2019/10/global-use-single-use-plastics-eliminated-mandarin-oriental-hotel-group/
[2] https://www.ecowatch.com/california-bans-mini-plastic-toiletries-2640926594.html?rebelltitem=1 - rebelltitem1
[3] https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/new-york-hotels-mini-toiletries-ban-single-use-plastic-usa-a9113206.html

FPS788