Initiative will cut waste

Hotel guests tap into campaign to cut plastic bottles

Scottish Water at St Andrews hotel

New initiative aims to reduce waste


A Scottish hotel has taken steps to reduce plastic waste by replacing disposable water bottles in its 212 guest rooms with specially designed refillable glass bottles.

Fairmont St Andrews on the Fife coast says it will see a saving of about 55,000 plastic bottles per year.

Water top up points will also be installed within the hotel to allow guests to easily stay hydrated using their own refillable water bottles.

The hotel, which is committed to ensuring efficient use of resources through its Green Tourism programme, has become the latest company to back Scottish Water’s Your Water Your Life campaign.

The campaign is encouraging people to make tap the first choice for Scotland’s water drinkers, highlighting how topping up from the tap can benefit their health, their pocket and the environment.

The utility is encouraging other businesses to follow suit and help make it easier for people to top up by offering access to tap water in their premises.

Douglas Millican, Chief Executive, Scottish Water said: “Fairmont St Andrews is to be commended for investing in this initiative which will not only ensure guests at the hotel can easily top up from the tap and enjoy our fantastic Scottish water, but also make a positive impact on the environment by reducing waste.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with them and hope other businesses across Scotland will follow their lead.”

John Keating, general manager, Fairmont St Andrews said:  “We are very excited about this new partnership with Scottish Water. It’s very important to us and supports the resort’s and AccorHotel’s green values. 

“In addition to eradicating plastic bottles we will be installing three water fountains around the resort making it much easier for guests to top up with their own water bottles. 

“I am so proud of all the colleagues at the Hotel who are embracing this new initiative, and their dedication to green tourism.”

Consumers unhappy over packaging

Recent research by an online labelling website found that consumers are exasperated with manufacturers not making any efforts to reducing their packaging.

Manufacturers using packaging which cannot be recycled and local councils not providing consistent recycling services across the country are two factors which feature high on the list of consumers’ concerns.

A survey by Seareach showed concerns over manufacturers still using black plastic food packaging which cannot be recycled despite complaints from consumers.

Many people struggle to know what can and can’t be recycled and that this varies around the country because different councils recycle some packing that others don’t.

The feedback showed a lot of people feel that councils are guilty of not providing enough local recycling options and many argue that items which are sent for recycling actually end up in landfill or shipped abroad.

Seareach asked respondents what they thought would be useful solutions to the current recycling situation in the UK. They questioned: “What ideas would you like to see adopted?” They found people wanted:

        Recycling at supermarkets for all packaging – 68%

        Consistent and understandable labelling – 67%

        Councils to be more transparent about recycling – 65%

        Apps to scan barcodes for recycling info – 38%

The study showed that a lot of people want to be able to recycle where they buy their items – at the supermarket – and better labelling which makes it clear what can and can’t be recycled, along with consistent recycling systems across the country.

A change in what materials can be recycled, such as wrappers and foil packaging, and an end to foil-plastic hybrids which can’t be recycled was also important.

People also want to see the onus on manufacturers and councils to help consumers recycle. Ideas suggested include:

        More recycling points in towns and cities.

        Different bins for recycling on the high street like in cities such as Toronto adopted in the UK.

        More or better options for people living in flats and sheltered accommodation to have more recycling bins which are easily accessible for disabled and elderly.

        Less packaging or zero plastic packaging. 

        Options for refillable products.

        A ban on packaging which isn’t currently recyclable or not widely recyclable.

        Deposit and refund schemes across the country.

        A complete ban on single-use plastic bottles.

Technology was seen as a tool to help people recycle more and more efficiently: apps which can scan product barcodes that also show how to recycle the packaging and where. 

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