What are the Plastic Free July pledges?
Avoid single-use plastic packaging
Avoid take-away items (bags, bottles, straws and coffee cups
Go completely plastic free
People can choose to implement as many pledges as they like and make a personal decision on how long they intend to stick to them.
The most realistic option for hotels, hospitality businesses and holidaymakers is clearly to go with pledge 2. Not only are these easy to achieve, they are also easy to communicate and they provide a clear and consistent approach to plastic reduction that both staff and guests can support.
Think about all of the ways that you can communicate with your guests and customers before they travel and whilst they’re staying with you.
Before they travel
Many of your guests are used to reducing single-use plastics at home, but they’re not necessarily going to pack a reusable shopping bag, straw, bottle and coffee cup into their luggage. However, they might do this if they know what your business is planning to do.
Why not download some of the free posters and logos from the Plastic Free July website and use these in your social media accounts or newsletters to let people know that your business is supporting the campaign. Tell them they are welcome to bring reusable bottles, straws and coffee cups with them, not everyone will do this, but it’s still a great message.
While they stay with you
Specifically for accommodation providers, there are likely to be many communications touch points in and around the accommodation. Think about where you guests are likely to spend time – standing at the bar, waiting in reception, inside lifts and inside rooms.
Then think about which types of communications methods can work best in these areas. For example, in rooms you might use an information folder, an A4 welcome letter, a tent card, a in-house TV channel.
At the bar and in onsite shops or other outlets you can use point of sale cards for information on straws, bottles, coffee cups and plastic bags.
If Covid means you can’t use printed materials, put the information into an app that’s accessible from the QR reader. Include information on your food and drinks menus so that people are guaranteed to see it.
What else could you do?
Once guests have gone home
If you continue to communicate with guests after they have gone home via newsletter, don’t let them forget about all your good work. Keep them updated by letting them know some fun facts about the impacts they have contributed to for Plastic Free July.
For example, could you tell them how many straws and bottles were saved over the course of the month, or how many people got involved in a beach clean and how much waste they picked up?
Maybe you intend to continue with some of the plastic reduction activities you’ve started, if you do then let people know, it’s a fantastic story and certainly very good for your reputation! Social media, blogs and newsletters are a great way to do this and they help to keep your brand fresh in your guests’ minds long after they’ve gone home.