Talking Point: Hoteliers have a waste solution that’s good for the environment and good for business

Could you bottle your own water to reduce waste?

Could you bottle your own water to reduce waste?

Hotels looking to create less waste can consider their house water bottles says Ian Baragwanath of Vero Water for our latest Talking Point.

As the rubbish we create all over the world piles ever higher, the question of how to cut down on waste has become a global issue.

Businesses are struggling to create less waste, but government legislation is kicking in and, hopefully, making it essential for everyone to get on board, or pay a penalty.

The hotel industry is no different. As a conservative estimate for most hotels, each guest generates a minimum of 1kg of waste per night. Extrapolate that to the millions of hotels and guests worldwide and you have some idea of the problem.

So with the rules tightening, hotels are desperate for ways to be more sustainable; to use products that can be recycled. By doing this, they not only ticks the boxes in terms of legislation, but also save money on their budget.

Guests are increasingly interested in giving their patronage only to businesses that have made a strong commitment to sustainability including waste reduction.

Many items and products are often thrown way after a hotel room is cleaned. All those little bottles of complementary shampoo, the soaps, the half used packets that cannot be recycled and could be destined for the bin. Fortunately programmes like Soap for Hope and Clean the World have found ways to partner with hotels and can use these left over items. If guests aren’t going to take the bottles home for their own use, they could enquire whether the hotel is working with these programmes to help others around the world.

Branded bottled drinking water is another commodity that has the potential for huge negative environmental impact in the hotel industry. Hotel bars and restaurants do good business selling bottled mineral water, plus many provide free bottles in their rooms. The glass and plastic waste from these bottles is significant, and can have a negative impact not only on the environment, but also the hotel’s bottom line. Although for many guests - particularly in hot countries and island resorts - bottled drinking water is an essential, the waste that accompanies it can be a costly disaster.

There are solutions to hotel water bottle waste that provide a win win for guest and hotel. Swap glass or plastic bottles to refillable stainless steel bottles which can be branded and taken away by the guest to use at home.

Alternatively switch to a system with durable glass bottles that will wash in a standard glass washer.

Vero Water has a range of unique water purification and bottling systems that enable hotels to offer customers purified, chilled and great-tasting still and sparkling water very inexpensively, and with zero waste.

Connected to the existing mains water, the system will fill a glass or a 950ml glass bottle via a preset button.

The upshot is a huge environmental benefit, as not only does it have an almost zero carbon footprint, but it helps to keep landfills free of one-use glass and plastic waste.

People are becoming increasingly conscious of not only their own carbon footprint, but the carbon footprint of the places they visit, the pubs, bars and hotels where they like to eat, drink and stay. People are voting with their feet and choosing hospitality venues that are as eco-friendly as they are.

This system can help hotels to slash the waste they produce from bottled water to zero, without having to compromise on quality. Guests can rest assured that their hotel has a great environmental policy in place, but the water is still great.

Going green can also increase revenue for hotels, and the overall, positive knock-on effect is significant. Reusable bottles help reduce stock, plus transport and delivery fees are non-existent, fridge and storeroom space is freed up and waste is kept to a minimum. Plus the reduced man hours spent restocking and reordering.

Some water tastes better than others, and the difference is simply the treatment process the water goes through. Water coming from a tap, a bottle or some filtration system can make all the difference between a taste that’s crisp and refreshing, or just plain ordinary.

The Vero Water systems feature a five-step purification process which removes impurities, chemicals and imperfections in the water.

The result is a taste that is noticeably more palatable. Once purified, the water is flash chilled, if required, and the systems can serve it either still or sparkling.

Solutions exist if you go looking for them. From miniature bottles of shampoo through to king-size mattresses, there are a dozen ways to reduce your environmental impact – often with the help of local partners who will ensure that there’s a community benefit as well. Practical solutions can bring other wins like zero carbon footprint, zero waste, increased profits, and a healthy boost to customer satisfaction. Now that’s something every hotelier can relate to.

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