9 hotel groups & F&B retailers make PACT with WWF to reduce plastic use in S'pore

Will this coalition make an impact?

Zhangxin Zheng | January 31, 2019, 12:03 PM

On Jan. 30, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) launched PACT (Plastic ACTion), a coalition of companies coming together to reduce plastic use and production by 2030.

Nine companies signed the PACT

The companies on board include F&B outlets, retail shops and hotels.

Here are the nine of them:

  • AccorHotels Group
  • Hilton hotels
  • Kraftwich
  • Pastamania
  • Pontiac Land Group
  • Ramada and Days Hotels by Wyndham Singapore at Zhongshan Park
  • SaladStop!
  • Udders
  • Wildlife Reserves Singapore

The participation of these companies is significant.

According to a 2016 reporting exercise carried out by the National Environment Agency (NEA), the average recycling rate for large hotels with more than 200 rooms is just 5.5 percent.

The low recycling rate can be attributed to the high costs incurred implementing recycling programmes.

However, such changes have been proven to be cost-saving in the long run.

Hence, the WWF believes that PACT will help companies overcome short term constraints, and come up with suitable waste reduction policies to implement and achieve a collective target.

How does PACT work

Companies will learn how to tackle plastic use with WWF, take immediate action and commit to specific and quantifiable targets.

In doing so, these companies share the same vision of 'No Plastic in Nature' by 2030.

There are many ways that companies can do so and one of which is to create a circular economy where they take ownership to turn waste into resources again.

Another way is to seek alternatives to plastic products.

For example, some SaladStop! outlets allow patrons to return or donate plastic bags of reasonable condition for others to reuse.

Ice-cream brand, Udders, have replaced plastic ice-cream spoons with wooden ones in their outlets.

Hotels under the Pontiac Land Group are looking at doing without plastic straws, reducing plastic packaging waste and using reusable glassware instead of plastic bottles to serve water.

These hotels include Capella Singapore, The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, Conrad Centennial Singapore and Regent Singapore.

Circular economy already exists in the heartland

In fact, Minister for Environment and Water Resources, Masagos Zulkifli, mentioned Our Tampines Hub (OTH) as an example where circular economy approach is adopted in Singapore.

The raw food waste from OTH's hawker centre is not discarded but sent to eco-digesters.

The eco-digesters turn 700kg of food waste into water used for washing, and fertilisers that are distributed to Tampines residents for community gardens or plants at home.

The ministry of environment and water resources (MEWR) and the NEA will also be publishing an inaugural Zero Waste Masterplan in the second half of this year.

Top photo collage from Chris Evans and WWF