War on plastic

Dalmahoy bans toilet miniatures to ease landfill waste

Green pledge: Dalmahoy is taking environmental action (pic: Terry Murden by helicopter)

Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club on the outskirts of Edinburgh is the latest to phase out plastic miniature toiletries in the campaign to combat waste.

It will replace them with dispensers in its 215 bedrooms, which it estimates will save over 175,000 30ml plastic bottles – enough to fill three double decker Lothian buses – from ending up in the landfill every year.

In conjunction with Green Tourism, of which Dalmahoy is an accredited gold member, the hotel is inviting hoteliers from across Scotland to discuss ways the industry can unite to take collective action.  

Last year InterContinental, which owns Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza and Kimpton as well as the InterContinental branded George Hotel in Edinburgh, announced it will be removing toiletries by next year.

Alistair Kinchin, Dalmahoy general manager, who is leading on it environmental agenda, said: “We’re on a mission to become an environmentally-responsible resort.  

“We’re removing miniature plastic toiletries, because we all need to play our small part in operating our businesses in a more environmentally-conscious way – and our guests, with the rise of conscious consumerism, expect this of us.


Toiletries will be banned

“We know we’re not the first to embark on this path, and we’re heartened by others in our industry taking the lead.  However, we know that together we still have a long way to go and that other consumer industries, such as retail and areas of FMCG, are further ahead than the hotel and leisure industry on this journey.”

Dalmahoy has been tackling a number of other initiatives since becoming an independent property almost three years ago. These include converting plastic drinking straws to paper, recycling all food waste gaining zero waste to landfill certification, installing a timer-controlled lighting system, and switching to a new fleet of electric golf buggies. 

The hotel’s biggest programme to date has been installing a renewable energy source through a combined heat and power plant which will lead to more than nine tonnes in reduced carbon emissions in comparison to traditional energy sourcing.  The potential carbon saving is equivalent to taking 85 cars off the road for a year.

Other plans in the pipeline this year for Dalmahoy include introducing electric car charging points and continually looking at ways to improve waste management – including at renewing waste contracts, waste bin inserts so that it is easier for guests to separate waste in their rooms and a vac pack machine to prolong the life of food and therefore reduce food waste.

Andrea Nicholas, CEO of Green Tourism, said: “Encouraging businesses in the tourism and hospitality sectors to find alternatives to single-use plastic is a large part of Green Tourism’s work and it is great to see the Dalmahoy offering support and advice to other businesses to help them take the same steps within their premises.”

M&S extends refill scheme

Marks & Spencer is to extend a trial of its refill scheme where shoppers can fill their own containers with food.

The trial will be extended at its store in Southampton, and will be rolled out to Manchester this month.

A spokesman said it was part of the supermarket’s “action to reduce plastic packaging”.

The initial trial offered 44 plastic packaging-free products from coffee and cereal to sweets and pasta at the Southampton store. M&S said 25 of those products were now outselling packaged alternatives.

Asda operates a sustainability store in Leeds where customers can use refill stations while a number of other supermarkets are removing plastic packaging and wrapping.

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