International Plastic Bag Free Day is held every year on July 3 to promote a plastic bag-free world and spread awareness of the negative effects of plastic on the environment. Check out how our hotels and resorts around the world celebrated the observation.
To commemorate International Plastic Bag Free Day, Shangri-La Hotel, Hefei displayed an artistic centerpiece made of thousands of upcycled plastic bottles in the hotel lobby. Leading up to the observation, colleagues from housekeeping and food and beverage departments collected used plastic bottles from guestrooms, dining venues and after events. The bottles were cut, painted and repurposed into small pots for green plants. The plants were used to line the centerpiece, which was completed with upcycled and painted plastic bottles and bags.
“We hope that through this decoration, we can remind our guests and employees to make a conscious effort to help protect our environment by drinking less bottled water and using fewer plastic bags,” said Doris Gu, director of communications at the hotel.
Moving forward, Shangri-La Hotel, Hefei will use paper bags in place of plastic bags, and recyclable cardboard boxes instead of plastic boxes. The initiative is in line with Shangri-La’s group effort to reduce single-use plastic items.
Shangri-La Hotel, Shenzhen celebrated Plastic Bag Free Day by inviting a famous local sand painting artist to teach students from the Yuan Ping and Ren Ai special education schools how to reuse plastic shopping bags and make them into art. The young artists used 120 shopping bags to create their upcycled masterpieces. The hotel continued its initiative with community and staff outreach booths at the Luohu train station and the hotel dormitory to encourage others to forgo plastic in their everyday lives.
Leading up to International Plastic Bag Free Day, Shangri-La Hotel, Fuzhou encouraged guests and its community to share their best “reduce, reuse, recycle” practices through WeChat. The top ideas were: for supermarkets to sell reusable shopping bags, where every bag purchaser receives a discount on their first round of groceries; to raise awareness through advertisements in front of popular stores and businesses; and to start charging for plastic bags in stores. The top three responses with the most likes received special prizes.
On July 3, the hotel invited 15 families to join in a fun crafting event at the hotel to decorate reusable tote bags to take home.
On International Plastic Bag Free Day, Hotel Jen Shenyang launched its “One day without plastic bags challenge," during which hotel colleagues handed out 200 free eco-bags to passersby on Taiyuan Street. Colleagues also handed out painting materials for the recipients to decorate their bags.
"The public was super enthusiastic with the engagement," said Carrie Sung, director of human resources at Hotel Jen Shenyang.
The Hotel Jen Shenyang team ended the day with a volunteer clean up at the local Zhongshan Park.
In India, Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel, New Delhi commemorated International Plastic Bag Free Day by gifting branded reusable linen bags in every guestroom.
“The idea was to inform and educate people that a plastic free world is possible as long as we can come together,” said Ankita Dawar, director of communications at the hotel. “Shangri-La’s - Eros Hotel, New Delhi took this initiative as a means to raise awareness about the grave impact of plastic on the environment and promote an easy-to-use alternative solution in its place.”
On July 12, colleagues from Shangri-La’s – Eros Hotel, New Delhi continued the no-plastic celebration with a visit to the hotel’s EMBRACE partner, The Noida Deaf Society, a non-profit organization that supports children with speech and hearing impairments. During the visit, colleagues including General Manager Parmeet Singh Nayar gifted stationary bags made from recycled material to the students.
“We hope the gifts encourage the students to live a plastic-free and environmentally-conscious lifestyle,” said Dawar.
“It is an honor to partner with The Noida Deaf Society,” said General Manager Parmeet Singh Nayar. “Shangri-La’s - Eros Hotel, New Delhi looks forward to many successful initiatives to help build a more sustainable future.”
Shangri-La Hotel, Bengaluru observed International Plastic Bag Free Day with a recycling event. The hotel CSR team invited guests and colleagues to declutter their lives by delivering plastic items to the hotel’s recycling box by July 3. Every guest and colleague who recycled items received a free reusable tote bag. The hotel continued its plastic free initiative with a visit to Angel’s Orphanage and Cheshire Homes to educate students, care takers and faculty about the importance of responsible plastic consumption. To commemorate the observation, the hotel created a beautiful centrepiece in the lobby to remind guests and colleagues to use non-plastic items when possible.
The CSR team at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa, Singapore celebrated Plastic Bag Free Day by setting up recycling stations to encourage colleagues to recycle their plastic bags in exchange for eco-friendly paper bags. Later in the day, guests participated in the observation by signing and painting a pledge board as a commitment to use less plastic bags. The resort’s mascot, Toot the frog, visited pool-side guests to spread the eco-conscious message. The CSR team rounded off the day by enjoying zero proof cocktails with items like pasta, cinnamon sticks and vegetables replacing plastic straws.
In Indonesia, Shangri-La Hotel, Surabaya celebrated the observation by teaching 30 parents of students from MI Nurul Huda 1, the hotel’s EMBRACE partner, how to hand-embroider bags made of hotel linens. During the event, team members taught the parents how to embroider the bags and the importance of reusing cloth bags rather than using plastic bags.
“Our housekeeping team supported us by providing bags made of unused linen and promoting the alternatives for single-use plastic bags, such as recyclable bags, cloth bags and a lot more, which can help save the environment, as well as animals,” said Cahya Bhinartika, the hotel’s CSR manager. “To make the activity more interesting, we taught the participants hand embroidery skills. Each participant could bring their decorated bag home, and we hope they will use it daily to replace plastic bag usage whenever possible.”
In Canada, Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver engaged with colleagues through multiple activities. The day started with a hosted Canadian breakfast with “all the fixings,” followed by a presentation from the food and beverage team, teaching colleagues how to make homemade granola. The recipe aims to reduce the purchase of granola packaged in plastic wrappers, which end up in landfills. Every attending colleague received a reusable shopping bag made of 100% recycled plastic.
Later in the day, the front office and concierge teams held a bake sale to raise money for the hotel’s EMBRACE partner, Ray Cam Cooperative Centre, a center that provides learning spaces and recreation activities to low income members of the community. All proceeds will go to preparing backpacks filled with school supplies for over 100 children, teens and adults going back to school. The backpacks will contain suggestions of how to live greener and more eco-conscious lives.
In Malaysia, Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur launched a “No Plastic Day” campaign at Lemon Garden 2Go with several environmentally-friendly initiatives. The café sold reusable non-woven shopping bags at RM5 (about USD1.25) and offered biodegradable drinking straws as eco-friendly alternatives to plastic bags and plastic straws. The biodegradable drinking straws will be offered past International Plastic Bag Free Day to make the greatest green impact.
“In line with Shangri-La’s commitment to safeguarding the environment, the initiative of phasing out plastic is a vital step towards developing sustainable practices,” said Daniel Kaeflein, resident manager of Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. “We look forward to introducing more such measures soon to create a cleaner world for generations to come.”
Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong is also taking measure to combat long term plastic usage by removing plastic from many areas of the hotel. In the Health Club and pool area, the hotel removed plastic bottles from the fitness machines and main shelves, and now encourage guests to drink from the water dispenser and to bring personal reusable water bottles. Lobster Bar now uses stainless steel straws as an alternative to plastic straws, and Restaurant Petrus now offers filtered water as an alternative to plastic and bottled water. Lastly, the hotel’s human resources team distributed umbrella covers to all colleagues to decrease the use of disposable plastic bags for wet umbrellas.
Congratulations to all Shangri-La properties for celebrating International Plastic Bag Free Day and taking the steps to make our world plastic-free.