Data-driven change: Clean the World challenges plastic waste habits

This Earth Day (22 April), we hear from social enterprise Clean the World on the pivotal role of data in our behaviours when it comes to plastics in hospitality.

Plastic, one of the most pervasive materials of our time, presents an immense challenge to our planet’s wellbeing. With nations worldwide endeavouring to phase out single-use plastics by 2030, has launched the ambitious Planet vs Plastics campaign, aiming to slash plastic production by 60% before 2040. But as an immediate action, what can we do to ensure the responsible disposal of plastics that are already produced?

Stopping the production of single-use plastic is no small task. Currently, a staggering 350 million tonnes of plastic are produced annually, with a mere 9% effectively recycled and reused. The hospitality sector itself contributes significantly to global carbon emissions, with hotels alone accounting for approximately 21% of the industry’s total emissions, but social enterprises like Clean the World can help guide the industry.

Enterprises like Clean the World are at the forefront of this movement, challenging both hotel guests and establishments to adopt sustainable practices. By implementing trackable recycling programmes, Clean the World encourages hotels to recycle bathroom amenities such as soap and plastic bottled products, thereby mitigating environmental harm through reuse.

Collaborating with over 8,300 hospitality partners globally, Clean the World has diverted over 12.1 million kilograms of waste from landfills while furnishing essential hygiene supplies to vulnerable communities worldwide. The efficacy of these initiatives is bolstered by data-driven insights. Through an Impact Reporting System, hotels can monitor their waste reduction progress, offering tangible evidence of their environmental stewardship, along with valuable insights that can help inform purchasing decisions and thus reduce costs.

Clean the World’s recent introduction of the Advanced Impact Dashboard represents a significant leap forward, particularly for UK hotels striving for greater sustainability. This innovative tool enables hotels to showcase their environmental contributions through enhanced filtering options and detailed sustainability metrics, which in turn allow for statistic-driven proposals for change to be suggested across hotel chains.

Partnering with prestigious hotel chains like Hilton, Hyatt, and Marriott, Clean the World’s Global Recycling Programme has collected over 3.9 million kilograms of plastic and over 8.2 million kilograms of soap bars, which were recycled into 84 million new bars of soap since 2009.

Moreover, Clean the World’s Impact Dashboard empowers hotel management teams to gauge their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) performance, correlating it with nine of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This not only facilitates internal reporting but also bolsters external marketing efforts, enhancing brand loyalty and customer retention, as well as enhancing employee engagement.

In a world where 76% of travellers express a desire for more sustainable travel options, such transparent statistics are pivotal. They not only serve as a testament to hotels’ commitment to sustainability, but also enable them to meet ESG targets, fostering a brighter, more environmentally conscious future.

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