Akyra, The No-plastic Tactic

CHIANG MAI

Akyra, The No-plastic Tactic

Catherine Vanesse

5 December 2018

As of July, Akyra Manor is the first hotel in Chiang Mai to completely ban single-use plastic.

Straws, bottles of water, shampoo, or shower gel and trash bags in rooms make way for glass bottles, stainless steel straws, refillable bottles, and trash bags made of washable fabric or paper. Guests are even invited to take the hotel’s reusable bags on their shopping trips.

“Chiang Mai is already seeing the ‘no plastic’ trend in many restaurants and cafés. The decision to no longer use plastic is not only a communicative action but also a way of acting responsibly,” explains Akyra’s General Manager, Christophe Gestin.

Thailand, along with China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, is one of the countries that dump the most plastic into the ocean. These five countries together are releasing over 4 million tons of plastic into the seas, which makes up half of the world’s total according to figures from the NGO Ocean Conservancy.

Last June, the deaths of a whale and a turtle caused by ingesting too much plastic went viral and caught the attention of local and international media. According to AFP, at least 300 marine animals, including whales, sea turtles, and dolphins, die every year in Thai waters after swallowing plastic.

“We’re now seeing global awareness, especially in Thailand. We strive to raise awareness among staff so that they don’t give out plastic as a reflex. Showing them videos like the one with the turtle that had a straw stuck up its nose allows them to see the harmful effects of plastic,” adds Christophe. “Besides no longer using plastic, we strive to purchase all our products locally, including soap, chocolate, water, etc. to reduce our ecological footprint.”

An initiative that will hopefully inspire other establishments.

www.theakyra.com/chiangmai

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