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Plastic Free 2022: how plastic is critically connected to your health

Six Senses has been serious about reducing disposable plastic for many years, going back to the 1990s with our signature water bottled in glass, and more recently with the elimination of plastic straws and disposable F&B containers from all our hotels in 2016. We are thrilled to see that so many hotel groups and other industries are beginning to take up the cause, and delighted to announce we are one of the first signatories of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative led by the UN Environment Programme and UN World Tourism Organization, in collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Stop the production

Why is it important to ban plastic and not just recycle it? First of all, much of the pollution occurs during production, extraction, use and disposal. When we recycle, half the damage is already done. We also don’t recycle everything, which is why we have a floating Great Pacific garbage patch three times the size of France. We just need to stop the production.

Harmful health effects

Plastic does not decompose. It only gets smaller. This is called microplastic. One plastic bottle breaks into 10,000 small pieces of plastic. Microplastic transfers toxic chemicals when consumed, affecting our health in ways that are just starting to emerge. From developmental and reproductive effects to allergies and asthma via cardiovascular and liver diseases, no area of our health is immune.

Completely free of plastic from 2022

That’s why, starting with single-use and disposable plastic as top priority, we aim to reduce exposure to this fossil-fuel based material for guests and communities, being mindful of its harmful impacts to wellness and wildlife.

We will transition to natural compostable materials in some cases, and to high quality reusable materials in other cases. We have inventoried all plastic items used in our hotel and spa operations, and are working through the lists to eliminate even more of these. 

In 2018 alone, 5,150,000 plastic items were eliminated (including 1,122,248 coffee capsules, 52,316 plastic bags, 26,435 toothbrushes and 462,282 bits of packaging). And 1.8 million single-use plastic bottles were replaced group-wide in 2019.

In 2019, we reached out to our suppliers asking to deliver food and goods without plastic containers and seek safer alternatives as part of our pledge to the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative. 

In 2020, we are in partnership with the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative to work with suppliers to seek safer alternatives and address the root causes of plastic pollution.

In 2021, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas is the first hospitality brand to collaborate with the United States Coalition on Sustainability and SustainChain™ as part of an ambitious Plastic Free 2022 strategy to remove and avoid all virgin plastic materials from its hotel and spa operations.


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