A boutique Thai hotel group will become the first in the region to go plastic free.
The AKARYN Group specialises in the management of small luxury resorts in South-east Asia under the Aleenta and Akyra banners.
In September 2015, founder and director Anchalika Kijkanakorn was named a ‘hero of philanthropy’ by Forbes Asia in recognition of her dedication to supporting conservation efforts.
She established the company’s Pure Blue charitable foundation eight years ago to support marine conservation and community projects throughout Thailand.
Now she has pledged to create Asia’s first plastic-free hotels by the year 2020.
The 50-room akyra TAS Sukhumvit Bangkok, which opens in June, will not be stocking any single-use plastics in its rooms or food and beverage outlets.
Every hotel guest will instead be provided with a bespoke stainless-steel water bottle that they can refill at any time from water dispensers on each floor. The bottles can also be taken along on daily excursions around Bankok.
Bathroom amenities will be provided in Celadon pottery containers, and biodegradable bags will be used in the bins.
Guests will even have the option to use the hotel’s own shopping bags in order to avoid being given plastic bags with their purchases.
Ms. Kijkanakorn said: “Consumers are now more and more frequently seeking out responsible businesses that take care of our planet and we are proud to have been such a company since we first began operating some 15 years ago.”
AKARYN promises stylised personal experiences, with each brand exemplifying a “unique personality” while aiming to deliver on a group-wide commitment to support innovation, conservation, community, and responsible hospitality.
A company release said: “For those trying to live the zero-waste life, it can be devastating to see how much plastic waste results from just one trip alone.
“Think about all the plastic cups used for drinks onboard flights, the never-ending supply of plastic water bottles in hotels – not to mention all the flimsy plastic used to package small amenities such as cotton pads and Q-tips.
“Multiply that by the growing number of travellers at any given moment and you can see how the problem piles up.
“With over eight million tonnes of plastic thrown away each year, it’s great to see a hotel group like Akaryn taking a big step towards alleviating the problem.
“Now the only question is – which hotel group (or company) will be next?”