SINCE the launch of our Environmental Charter last June, members of the Association who have signed on are seeing great benefits and results.
Chairman of the Environmental Committee, Andre Miller, explained, “A number of members have fully embraced the drive to becoming environmentally friendly. Members such as Oceans Two Resorts are using paper straws instead of plastic and receiving rave reviews from their guests. We also have Pirates Cove and Jolly Roger replacing plastic forks and knives with wooden ones, another big hit with guests, both local and visitors to the island.
“At Sugar Bay and Bougainvillea they are now making their own cleaning products and discontinuing the use of plastic in any form, where possible, or unless requested by guests. They have also drastically reduced the number of drink bottles used daily by replacing them with kegs, one of which accounts for approximately three cases of bottles. Management at both properties have reported that not only have these and other environmentally-friendly changes been easy to incorporate but they have also resulted in financial savings.”
Miller noted that the Association has also sourced a number of suppliers of Eco-Friendly products which can be used in the industry including cutlery, tableware, napkins, hot and cold drink cups and take-a-way packaging, which were all featured at the recent Quarterly General Meeting in a mini-trade show for members. Contact information for these can be obtained from the Secretariat.
He said: “The use of plastic and Styrofoam is getting out of control in Barbados and something needs to be done. It is destroying our island and marine life and this is something we need to make the whole island aware of. Our Charter was formed for that reason, to reduce the use of plastic and Styrofoam on the island, as the Association continues efforts to protect the environment, not only for today but for future generations.
“So we have started at home by encouraging and assisting members to initiate the process of reduction in their businesses and daily activity, aspects of which we intend to make a national effort.
"We recognize that some members are still worried that they cannot reach the standard of total environmental perfection at this point but I wish to remind them that just a small reduction of the amount of plastic bought or carelessly discarded makes a difference and is a step in the right direction."
BHTA members who have signed the charter have committed to reducing the plastic usage in their establishments by introducing practices such as avoiding the use of disposable plastic items including cutlery, aprons, hats and Styrofoam; returning guests’ laundry in baskets rather than plastic bags and purchasing concentrated cleaning products in bulk, among others.
They have also agreed to pass on the message by educating employees and guests/customers on the ways to reduce plastic use and encourage them to utilise some of the practices in their home.