Hotels cut waste, promote recycling

Hu Min
Hotels in Shanghai will stop providing six disposable items, such as toothbrushes and combs, from July 1.
Hu Min

Hotels in Shanghai will stop providing six disposable items such as toothbrushes and combs from July 1 unless guests request them, the city's tourism authorities announced on Sunday.

These items are toothbrushes, combs, bath brushes, razors, nail files and shoe brushes, the Shanghai Administration of Culture and Tourism said.

Hotels will first be asked to rectify the issue or face a fine of between 500 yuan (US$73.29) and 5,000 yuan if they continue to provide such items.

This is based on Shanghai's first domestic garbage management regulations which will take effect on July 1.

Residents and tourists can tip off authorities by calling 12318 hotline if they spot irregularities, the administration said.

The aim is to cut the use of disposable items in the tourism and accommodation industries, and promote the use of recyclable items.

Hotels should set up signs in rooms and encourage guests to reduce the use of the disposable, the administration said.

The supply of items that can be washed, disinfected and recycled is encouraged, according to the administration.

The city is also promoting garbage-sorting.

Hotels said they have already taken measures and will let guests know about the practice.

The five-star Kunlun Jing An Hotel said it has started screening instructions on the classification of dry and recyclable wastes on its televisions in rooms. Different garbage bins will soon be placed inside rooms. 

Staff training on garbage-sorting has already started. It will also update its website.

It will take time for guests to adapt to the new practice, the hotel said, adding that it will try its best to promote and explain it.

Majesty Plaza Shanghai, another five-star hotel on Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall, said it will notify guests over the change in advance.

"We will put reminders at our reception desks and rooms, which is similar to the smoke-control practice in the city," said Jiang Yi, from the hotel.

"Some guests may not be accustomed to the new practice, so we will start explaining to them from June with answers to some common questions," he said.

"We have already made preparations for the new regulations and will replace the current garbage bins inside rooms with ones for different types of trash."

The hotel's garbage-sorting treatment center has been renovated as well.

Li Jing, a Shanghai resident, said it is important to protect the environment.

"I think it is quite understandable because I bring my own toothbrush and slippers when traveling to European countries," Li said.

Chen Chaoying, another Shanghai resident, said she will still ask for toothbrushes at hotels.

"I have been used to disposable toothbrushes at hotels, which is a deeply rooted tradition, and I think it is part of the hotel's service," she said.

From July 1 when Shanghai’s first domestic garbage management regulations take effect, enterprises can be fined up to 5,000 yuan for failure to have correct garbage-sorting and collection containers, and up to 50,000 yuan for failure to sort waste.

Individuals will be fined up to 200 yuan for failure to sort garbage.

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