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Plastic is produced from petroleum, and it is almost entirely non-biodegradable. It takes up to fifty years for a plastic cup to decompose – and for a plastic bottle, the period could be as long as 450 years. Over time, plastic disintegrates into small particles that harm animals and damage the environment. The disastrous carpet of plastic floating atop the world's oceans is putting the entire ecosystem under pressure, while fish and birds are being suffocated by the plastic particles. On dry land too, plastic is inflicting immense damage on the environment.

Going plastic-free in the Responsible Hotels of Switzerland

The Responsible Hotels of Switzerland are leading by example, with more and more members of the group banishing plastics from their properties. All tableware used throughout the rocksresort in Laax is reusable, and consumption of plastic is reduced to the absolute minimum. And when it comes to zero waste, the GAIA Hotel in Basel is definitely a pioneer: no pre-packed mini-portions are offered at the breakfast buffet, and the hotel portions all foods itself to prevent plastic waste. The GAIA has also imposed a total ban on plastics for goods delivered by suppliers: coffee, for example, is now only delivered in reusable glass containers. Even items in the bathrooms are made of bamboo and other sustainably recycled materials. The Hotel Belvedere Grindelwald, the Militärkantine in St. Gallen, Riders Hotel in Laax and the Hotel Fafleralp all operate entirely without disposable plastic, and they implement strict waste separation and recycling concepts. 

«We take advantage of technology to avoid using plastic.»

Susanne Käser, Hotel City Zurich

Breaking the mould with new ideas

The changeover to plastic-free operation is taking place at different levels – and it is not restricted to food and beverage outlets. At the Hotel City Zurich, guests use an app or SwissPass to open their room doors. This eliminates the little plastic cards that often end up in the dustbin. And that's only the beginning. "We're making more use of technology so we can avoid using plastic and eliminate it from our hotel," Susanne Käser of the Hotel City Zurich explains with conviction.