Oceans make up around 70% of the Earth’s surface and are a vital resource for sustaining life on our planet. The Iberostar Group has strong ties to the seas and oceans – more than 80% of our hotels boast seafront locations – and for this reason we are determined to make a real and effective contribution to the protection and conservation of this unique asset.
In order to bring this about, we have set up the ‘Wave of Change’ movement, an ambitious initiative designed in line with Goal 14 of the SDGs (United Nations Sustainable Development Goals), centred on three main areas: the reduction of plastic pollution; the promotion of sustainable fishing; and the conservation and protection of marine ecosystems.
The ‘Wave of Change’ programme also seeks to get both guests and employees involved in a common project that will contribute to the fight against climate change on our planet. In this sense, we have joined the World Oceans Day initiative under the slogan ‘Our oceans, our future’.
Consequently, over the weekend of 8th June, each of our hotels around the world has organised a programme of original and fun-filled activities aimed at raising awareness of the need to care for our oceans. The hotel lobbies will be lined with murals created using guests’ fingerprints and the beaches will become impromptu art galleries with ocean-based figures and patterns traced in the sand. Our guests will be able to share their artistic creations through photographs and posts on their social media, using the hashtags #OladeCambio and #WaveOfChange.
Elimination of more than 200 tons of single use plastics in Spain
Reducing plastic pollution is one of the key issues in Iberostar’s commitment to the oceans. Thanks to an ambitious policy designed to eliminate and replace single use plastics for alternative eco-friendly materials, by the end of 2018 we will have successfully prevented the generation of 200,000 kilograms of plastic waste.
This number, which refers to our hotel portfolio in Spain, is the result of replacing plastic bottles with glass alternatives – saving 43,800 kilograms of plastic – and substituting all plastic bin liners for others made from vegetable potato starch-based materials – thereby reducing the amount of plastic used by 134,619 kilograms. In addition, in 2018, the redesign of amenities and accessories such as pens and pencils will also cut down the amount of plastic generated by a further 3,000 kilograms.
In addition to our determined commitment to ensuring single use plastic free rooms, we are also working on the elimination of plastics from other areas of the hotels. To date, this has resulted in savings of 21,200 kilograms of plastic plates, glasses and cutlery at our hotels in Spain, which have been replaced with bamboo or similar products.
FIRST HOTEL CHAIN FREE OF SINGLE-USE PLASTICS IN SPAIN
The new bracelets, made of organic fabric, or the replacement of plastic packaging for alternatives made of top quality certified recycled and recyclable materials, are some of the other measures adopted, together with our commitment to promoting a circular economy.
During the initial phase of this programme, which was launched in 2017, we successfully eliminated the use of 10 million plastic straws. Moreover, Last April, we announced that during the course of 2018 we will be eliminating all disposable plastic items from our hotels rooms in Spain, an achievement that will be extended to Iberostar’s other hotels around the world in 2019.