Red Carnation Hotel collection removes 15 types of single use plastics

Paul Stevens Paul Stevens Uploaded 02 June 2019


Worldwide: Luxury hotel collection, Red Carnation Hotels, has completely eradicated 15 commonly used Single Use Plastic (SUP) items from its hotel operations worldwide.

With sustainability at the heart of its business, this month the family-owned Red Carnation collection achieved its goal of eliminating 15 commonly used SUPs from all 17 four and five star properties in the collection.

The achievement is part of a wider goal set by Red Carnation's parent company The Travel Corporation (TTC), and its not-for-profit The TreadRight Foundation, to eradicate all SUPs from operations across all its travel brands by 2022. Furthermore, it coincides with the build up to World Environment Day later this week, on 5 June.

SUP items commonly found in hotels include plastic cocktail stirrers and straws, single portion butter and jams at breakfast, plastic dry cleaning bags, plastic piping bags in the kitchen and envelopes with plastic windows. Many of these have now been completely removed from Red Carnation properties and replaced with sustainable alternatives.  

A complete list of the 15 SUP items removed from hotel operations, and examples of sustainable alternatives implemented at the properties, is below:  

  • Drinking straws 

Plastic straws were one of the first SUP items to be eliminated across all RCH operations back in January 2018. Compostable paper straws or metal alternatives are now in operation across all hotels in the collection, as well as 100 per cent biodegradable pasta straws.

  • Cocktail stirrers

From one of London's best martinis at The Egerton House Hotel in Knightsbridge to molecular cocktails at The Chesterfield Mayfair, Red Carnation bars now prepare cocktails with reusable cocktail stirrers made from glass, metal, stainless steel and bamboo. 

  • Takeaway coffee cups and lids 

Red Carnation Hotel branded takeaway coffee cups are plastic free and fully compostable, with coffee lids made from fermented corn starch. 

  • Plastic water bottles 

Each Red Carnation hotel has implemented a sustainable water service; either serving filtered water instead of bottled water or supplying sustainable glass bottles of still and sparkling. All UK properties partner with ethical water supplier Belu which gives 100 per cent of its net profits to its charity partner, WaterAid.

  • Staff canteen cups and cutlery

The eradication of SUPs extends to each hotels' back-of-house operations too - all staff canteens are now free from plastic cups and cutlery. 

  • Individual food portions

Breakfast items like cereals, yogurts and spreads will now be purchased in larger quantities and served in glass bowls, ramekins and jars at the breakfast buffet. 

  • Plastic pens 

The Red Carnation Hotel branded pens available in guest rooms and public spaces are made from metal instead of plastic. The team at Ashford Castle in Ireland are now using pencils instead of pens for admin use. 

  • Envelopes with plastic windows

Envelopes with plastic windows have been removed from operation at all reception desks and in central offices. 

  • Pedal bin liners 

Plastic bin liners are no longer used for individual bins in offices, bathrooms and communal staff areas. 

  • Coasters

Coasters for bedside water glasses or drinks in the bar are now comprised of reusable materials such as cork and leather or recyclable paper.  

  • Linen and towel delivery 

All 17 properties have been working with individual laundry partners to ensure laundry is collected and delivered without the use of plastic packaging. For example, the towels, bed and restaurant linen at The Montague on the Gardens in London's Bloomsbury is now sent and delivered in cages and protected by re-usable fabric bags instead of plastic. 

  • Toothbrushes 

For those guests that leave their toothbrush at home, hotel teams will arrange for a toothbrush with a bamboo or wooden handle to be delivered to their room. 

  • Guest dry cleaning bags 

Guest laundry will be collected using individual reusable fabric laundry bags which are placed in their room, and laundered items will be returned without plastic packaging. 

  • TV remote control

Sanitised remote controls are no longer placed in plastic bags, instead, a recycled paper wrap is now used to advise guests the remote in their room has been sanitised.

  • Piping bags in kitchens

The executive chef and kitchen teams at each hotel are now using reusable piping bags made from materials such as silicone. To perfect the intricate decorations on cakes, pastries and chocolates, Ashford Castle's pastry chef uses reusable piping bags made from nylon. 


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