A leading country hotel on the outskirts of Edinburgh, Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club, is phasing out plastic miniature toiletries 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.
Instead, the newly-refurbished hotel will mount larger-sized eco-friendly shampoo, shower gels and body creams to bathroom walls, which will be refilled from larger containers, from February this year, allowing guest to enjoy luxury Scottish Fine Soaps products in a much more environmentally-friendly way.
In conjunction with Green Tourism, of which Dalmahoy is an accredited gold member, the hotel is calling on all Scottish accommodation providers to follow lead, and is inviting hoteliers from across Scotland to get in touch and discuss ways the industry can unite to take collective action.
If the entire Scottish hotel industry followed suit, a vast amount of throwaway plastic could be saved from ending up in Scottish landfills annually.
Alistair Kinchin, Dalmahoy’s general manager, is leading on Dalmahoy’s environmental agenda. He says, “Dalmahoy is an independently-branded hotel which means we can drive our own ambitions – and 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.”
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 program to date has been installing a renewable energy source through a combined heat and power plant which will save more than 9 tonnes reduction in carbon emissions in comparison to traditional energy sourcing. The potential carbon saving is equivalent to taking 85 cars off the road for a year.
Andrea Nicholas, CEO of Green Tourism, said: “It is wonderful to see the Dalmahoy minimising their impact on the environment by taking action to reduce their use of single-use plastics. This is a fantastic initiative which not only provides a solution to the issue, but also showcases their strong commitment to sustainability by inspiring action across the sector.
“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.”
Kinchin continues, “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.
“Becoming a more environmentally-responsible business will be a continual, evolutionary process, but it will most certainly be easier if we’re united as an industry. We hope to see as many hotels as possible going down the same route.”
Nicholas continues: “With the rise in consumer awareness of environmental issues throughout 2019, the demand for green holidays, experiences and products is increasing and our members recognise the need for change, as demonstrated here by the Dalmahoy. With this demand only set to increase, we support the Dalmahoy in encouraging other businesses to find more environmentally-friendly alternatives.”
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.