Topic 1 Set of alternatives to plastics

The following part offers solutions to remove plastics from hospitality places. In each part of hotels (reception and lobby, guest rooms, kitchen and restaurant, conference rooms, swimming pools, etc.) are given the plastic products that are commonly used and their alternatives, which can replace plastics or significantly reduce plastics use and waste in the hotels. Implementing all or some of them can make hotels work within CE framework but also make savings in most of cases.

Plastic item



Key cards

  • Sustainable wooden keycards • App


  • Pencils • Paper, wooden, bamboo pens

Water bottles/minibar

  • Glass bottle • Water dispenser or refill station close to the room • Glass carafe in the room

Wrapped single-use plastic cups

  • Hard plastic cups (Polycarbonate or other) • Don’t buy plastic wrapped single-use plastic cups. Consider paper wrappings • Glass cups



  • Soap, shampoo, shower gel dispensers • Providing amenities (on request only)

Plastic bag in bin

  • Don’t use plastic bags • Compostable bags

Door hanger

  • Reusable door hanger (wooden/bamboo) • Electronic door hanger, indications

Hotel directory

  • TV presentation • Paper brochure (not laminated/leather cover) • App

Wrapped slippers

  • Slippers in bathrobe (in pockets, in basket) • Slippers in cotton bags • Slippers on demand

Plastic item


Sachets for sauce (mayonnaise, ketchup, etc.)

  • Sauce dispensers, • Providing sauce in bowls • Providing sauce in a bottle (e.g., at buffet)

Meal box and wrappings

  • Paper/palm tree leaves boxes • Paper bags

Single-use drink cartons/containers

  • Refillable/reusable bottles (e.g., metal) • Aluminium cans • Recycled/recyclable drink containers

Single packaged sugar, salt, pepper, sweeteners

  • Sugar dispenser • Salt and pepper table sets


Pre-portioned milk cups/sachets

  • Milk cans/cups • Milk powder (in the rooms) • Glass bottles

Single-use plastic wrappings

  • Placing food in boxes/trays

Single tea bag wrappings

  • Loose tea bags (in box) or in paper wrapped tea bags • Loose tea plus tea bags to refill

Plastic bags

  • Only providing on demand  Compostable/biodegradable bags (e.g., starch) • Reusable bags (e.g., linen)/paper bags

Plastic decorations

  •  Reusable decorations • Wooden/bamboo/paper decorations • Leaving out unnecessary decorations

Plastic item



Cleaning materials

  • Use refillable flasks • Buy large packings and flasks

Plastic bags/bin bags

  • Remove plastic bags where possible • Compostable/biodegradable bags (e.g., starch)

Plastic bottles

  • Water carafes • Dispensers and glasses • Glass bottles

Plastic amenities (pens)

  • Pencils, • Wooden/paper/bamboo pens


Plastic capsule (coffee machine)

  • Compostable/biodegradable capsules


  • No coasters • Reusable coasters (wooden/bamboo/ cork/glass) • Single-use coasters (paper)

Single packaged sweets, cookies, nuts and other

  • Provide snacks in bowls/on plates

Plastic item


All Spa liquids/soaps gels/oils

  • Refillable flasks/dispensers


Lunch options (cutlery, plates, cups)

  • Reusable cutlery (metal) and porcelain/ china crockery • Reusable hard plastic plates and cutlery • Single-use compostable/biodegradable plates and cutlery (wooden/cardboard/ bamboo/palm leaves/corn/wheat)

Wrapped slippers

  • Slippers in bathrobe (in pockets, in basket) • Slippers in cotton bags • Slippers on demand

Shop items/gifts

  • Items made out of local/biological/ natural materials

Plastic bags

  • Don’t provide plastic bags or only on request • Compostable/biodegradable bags (e.g., made from corn starch) • Reusable bags (e.g., linen/paper bags)



  • Buying in bulk • Paper/cardboard packaging where possible
  • Compostable/biodegradable plastics

Plastic giveaways

  • Sustainable giveaways • Refuse plastic giveaways

Source : TUI Group Sustainable Development (2019).

To sum up:

  • Suppress whenever possible or provide on demand;
  • Use larger containers / bottles;
  • Use reusable / to be washed items more than single-use items;
  • Prefer items made from renewable materials more than plastic-based.

This means also to:

  • Change habits, with impacts on organisation and needs of communication;
  • Address providers for a change or have new providers.

Some alternative items, innovation is on board! There is a lot of innovation on the way to propose alternatives to plastics. They can be interesting experiences for customers too. Be curious, challenge your providers, etc. Here are 2 examples:

Koovee cutlery is based on flour, rapeseed oil and salt, and comes in different natural flavours to add some additional interest. It can resist up to 6 minutes in water over 65°C and is strong enough that it does not break while being used or transported. It replaces plastic cutlery that should be banned by 2021 in France. In 2020, 100 000 Koovee spoons were already sold and eaten in France.