In the pursuit of global environmental sustainability and social responsibility, Club Med launches its first initiative against single-use plastic as part of its green initiative, beginning with its last straw.
As a brand concerned with green causes and involved in ocean conservation, Club Med, the pioneer of premium all-inclusive holiday packages, aims to reduce use of plastic in all resorts worldwide, with its Bye Bye Plastic initiative to progressively eradicate single-use plastic items.
In conjunction with the worldwide campaign #stopsucking petitioning against the use of plastic straws, Club Med is contributing to the movement through its new global policy. In all East and South Asia Pacific Club Med resorts, the initiative replaced disposable plastic cutleries with melamine, and plastic cups and straws with paper. Paper straws are provided upon request as part of its “Straw on Request” policy, which has been in place for the past few years through the Green Globe certification of the resorts. Club Med’s reduction of single-use plastic seek to reinforce its sustainable commitment and promote widespread awareness amongst guests about the repercussions of excessive plastic use on the global environment to encourage a reconsideration of the necessity of plastic straw usage.
Growing Worldwide Awareness
A statistical report by the Ocean Conservancy revealed that out of the 8 million tonnes of plastic dumped in the ocean each year, more than half comes from Asia. The expanded use of disposable plastic packaging in the growing economies of Asia steers its plastic disposal rates towards a projected doubling increase in oceanic plastic waste to 250 million tonnes by the year 2020. The International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) further generated a list of the top 10 most common beach litter, of which all were plastic. Plastic straws rank seventh alongside other common plastic wastes such as plastic wrappers, toothpaste tubes and plastic bottles.
As plastic straws are too lightweight and small, they often fall through the cracks of sorting screens with other materials, contaminating recycling loads and oceans bodies as disposed garbage. Club Med’s endorsement against single-use plastic with its switch-up of plastic straws for paper straws thus puts a firm foot forward in its global commitment towards environmental conservation as an aspiring leading sustainable resort.
After the launch of the “Straw on Request” policy, Club Med Phuket alone has seen an approximate 76% decrease in the use of plastic straws resort wide, down from an estimated 1,000 fewer straws used daily in the resort. Club Med continues to raise awareness and encourages guests to join in conservation efforts by putting up posters and signage around resorts to flag up ways guests can work with Club Med to do their part for the environment, starting with one less straw.
Integrating Initiatives Against Single-use Plastic into Operations
With the determination that the bulk of conservation efforts goes beyond raising awareness, Club Med also launched a series of green campaigns and integrated exercises in its daily operations to advance the more impactful solution – stopping plastic from entering the oceans altogether. Global commitment to its stance against single-use plastic is exemplified through its recurrent Beach Clean-ups across resorts with governmental and local partner organisations worldwide.
Club Med also contributed to wildlife protection through programs dedicated to local fauna. In Club Med Bintan for instance, a turtle hatching program is run by the team to protect two endangered species (Hawksbills and Green Turtles) during the nesting season from May to September. 201 Baby turtles have been hatched and released from the resort’s beach thanks to this on-site nursery this season.
A new initiative started earlier this year was the Green Trident Project that was held across 8 Asia Pacific Resorts. It focused on early education among children and youths, encouraging each child to pledge a simple action in which they would help to protect the environment. These pledges were as simple as “I pledge to turn off the tap when I brush my teeth” and were hand-pasted by each young guest onto a wall to make a green trident. Through active participation in activities involving the 3Rs of recycling – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Club Med hopes to plant the seeds of environmental awareness and develop their green awareness from an early age.
Another example is in Maldives, where Club Med is committed to restore Maldivian marine life that continues to suffer every year from global warming and ocean pollution through two programs: artificial reef installation and coral propagation. The coral propagation program relies on a sponsorship scheme of coral frames from guests. The artificial reef installation in both our resorts’ perimeter seeks to shelter fishes and restore Marine Life in the lagoon. In Club Med Kani, a pedagogical underwater trail has been created around these reefs to discover the fishes’ ecosystem and the activity is offered twice a day to guests. Both activities are handled by a marine biologist on site who fosters knowledge on local biodiversity amongst international guests, highlighting the importance of sustainability, wildlife and environmental protection on a global scale.