For an item so small, one disposable plastic bag can make lasting negative impacts. On average, plastic bags are used for only 25 minutes, but take between 100 to 500 years to disintegrate. Plastic bags greatly affect marine life; 80 percent of marine litter is plastic. Commonly mistaken for food, animals can view plastic bags as a meal, which can choking, pain and distress.
To combat these negative effects, Shangri-La properties around the world participated in International Plastic Bag Free Day on July 3, which encourages the global community to cease using single-use plastic bags. From educational crafts to environmental cleanups, check out how Shangri-La colleagues promoted sustainable practices on International Plastic Bag Free Day.
Shangri-La Hotel, Beihai partnered with the Beihai Yuebao Automobile Sales and Service Co Ltd. to host an environmentally-friendly painting activity at the hotel’s Pool Bar. Guests and colleagues painted reusable bags, which they took home to use in their daily lives.
“The activity built awareness for the importance of a healthy environment and the habits we can form to help our planet,” said Carrot Chen, assistant communications manager at Shangri-La Hotel, Beihai.
Kerry Hotel, Beijing organized the “Choose to Refuse” campaign, which encouraged guests and colleagues to use reusable cups, containers and bags on property and in their everyday lives. For young guests, Kerry’s Kitchen created an educational craft corner to teach children about the importance of being environmentally conscious.
“This is just the beginning of our sustainable journey,” said Wei Wei Saw, director of communications at Kerry Hotel, Beijing. “We are working towards reducing the overall volume of plastic in other areas, such as in-room water bottles, amenities, takeaway containers, garbage bags and more.”
Shangri-La Hotel, Changzhou hosted a plogging event, which promotes cardiovascular exercise while picking up garbage in communities. Guests and colleagues participated in the activity and contributed to protecting the local environment.
Colleagues from Shangri-La Hotel, Fuzhou participated in an environmental cleanup and gifted reusable cloth bags to guests and members of the community.
Shangri-La’s Sanya Resort & Spa, Hainan hosted environmental awareness events in partnership with the Sanya Haitang Youth Public Volunteerism Center and Sanya Social Work Organization. After an educational session for colleagues, the volunteers interacted with guests to teach them the importance of using reusable bags.
“We all learned many tips for reducing the use of plastic bags in our daily lives,” said Patricia Xu, executive secretary at the resort.
Shangri-La Hotel, Suzhou reduced its use of plastic by providing wooden stirrers to guests with takeaway coffees, and used paper straws during a cocktail-making session in the Lobby Lounge.
Shangri-La Hotel, Qufu partnered with the Yin Zuo Supermarket to donate reusable tote bags to shoppers.
“We hope the new bags will help reduce the use of single-use plastic bags in and outside of the supermarket,” said Carol Congl, human resources manager at Shangri-La Hotel, Qufu.
Colleagues at Shangri-La Hotel, Wenzhou painted posters to raise awareness about the harms of using plastic bags.
Shangri-La Hotel, Wuhan volunteered at a local grocery store to inform community members about the harms of single-use plastic bags. Colleagues also spread the word in the hotel’s dining outlets and at the front desk.
Since April 2015, Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong has ceased using plastic bags. The hotel continues to reduce the use of disposable plastic including plastic straws, takeaway boxes and single-use festive decorations.
“The hotel continues to source alternatives for bottled waters so we can eventually eliminate the use of all single-use plastic products within the hotel entirely,” said Patsy Chan, director of public relations and partnerships. “Let’s work hard together to achieve this goal!”
Hotel Jen Hong Kong encouraged colleagues to participate in International Plastic Bag Free Day with an art competition. Colleagues who designed the most creative fabric cup holders won special prizes.
“We hope the activity can inspire and engage our colleagues about sustainability and awareness for a plastic-free community,” said Ijo Tang, senior marketing communications executive at Hotel Jen Hong Kong.
Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives organized a tote bag painting activity with students from the Sharafuddin School – SEN class. The students and teachers received the bags to take home to use in their daily lives.
“During the visit, we learned that the entire school banned single-use plastic water bottles on the premises,” said Jynkee Shaine Camacho, CSR and sustainability manager at the resort. “It was a very meaningful day connecting to the children and involving them in this kind of activity.”
In collaboration with Parley for the Oceans - Maldives, a non-profit organization that raises awareness about harms to the world’s ecosystems, Hotel Jen Male, Maldives hosted a #BeatPlasticPollution awareness seminar. Over 60 hotel colleagues participated in the seminar, which educated attendees about ocean pollution in the Maldives.
“The Maldives appears to be an idyllic paradise, but it has not escaped the impact of the thousands of tons of plastic waste that ends up in the world’s oceans,” said Nina Mohamed, marketing and communications manager at Hotel Jen Male, Maldives. “Endless bits of plastic wash up on the pristine sands, just meters away from an abundant sea life, which includes turtles, dolphins, sting rays and hundreds of fish species. The figures are alarming – every year, 13 million tons of plastic are dumped in our oceans, where they destroy coral reefs and threaten marine fauna.”
Since 2017, Hotel Jen Male, Maldives has worked with Parley for the Oceans – Maldives. To date, the hotel has collected over 1,842 kilograms of plastic and delivered to Parley for responsible disposing.
“It is all our responsibility to ensure we eradicate plastic pollution and show our support for #BeatPlasticPollution,” said Mohamed.
Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi and Traders Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi encouraged colleagues to collect plastic bags in their communities. On International Plastic Bag Free Day, 36 colleagues created 18 works of art with the discarded bags.
Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai organized an artwork competition among departments to create posters focusing on Shangri-La’s core values using recycled materials. The teams used plastic straws, newspapers, magazines and more to create the artwork.
“It was evident that all teams made an effort to be creative and use the materials that were provided,” said Rushali Shetty, director of leadership and development at Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai. “The explanation of the concept and creativity varied between departments, but all were completed from the heart!”
The food and beverage department and housekeeping department tied for first place.
Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, Philippines hosted a tote bag making workshop for colleagues. Led by the resort’s CSR and Marine Sanctuary team, each colleague was encouraged to bring in one unwanted t-shirt, which was cut and tied into a reusable cloth bag.
“This inspires our colleagues to use the new, upcycled totes as grocery bags instead of single-use plastic bags,” said Lourdes Mae Jimenez, marine biologist at the resort.
In Singapore, Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa commemorated International Plastic Bag Free Day by organizing a plastic bag collection across all departments. The plastic bags were properly recycled, and moving forward, all colleagues are encouraged to reduce their plastic usage.
In Indonesia, Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta colleagues raised awareness about the importance of reducing plastic bag use in a community-wide celebration at the Banduran HI public area.
“Many people supported the event and our positive actions to save the earth,” said Bintari Rarastiwi, CSR and sustainability manager at Shangri-La Hotel, Jakarta.
Also in Indonesia, Shangri-La Hotel, Surabaya colleagues partnered with volunteers from the Lions Club Surabaya Grand and Optic GO during a visit to the MI Nurul Huda, the hotel’s EMBRACE beneficiary. Volunteers helped the students paint reusable tote bags, which were made out of unused linen from the hotel. The Lions Club provided an educational talk about the importance of a healthy environment and minimizing the use of plastic.
“We expect the students will reduce consumption of single-use plastic bags in their daily lives, or at least know the dangers of plastic use,” said Silvy, a speaker from the Lions Club.
Thank you to our colleagues and stakeholders around the world who participated in International Plastic Bag Free Day.