The non-profit organisation, headed by President and long-term Phuket resident and environmental campaigner Anthony Lark, Members ranging from small boutique hotels to large luxury international chains including JW Marriot, Hyatt, Hilton, Novotel, Swissotel, among others.
Together, the association represents an estimated 20,000 staff working in Phuket’s hospitality industry.
By joining the #CleanSeas campaign, the members have pledged to reduce the tide of plastic waste flowing into our oceans, said a Unep release issued today (Dec 14).
“It’s great to welcome the Phuket Hotels Association to the #CleanSeas campaign. Business participation is vital to turning the tide on plastic pollution in our oceans, and the tourism sector has a vital stake and key role in ensuring that beaches, coastlines and the seas are kept in pristine condition,” Mr Solheim noted in the statement.
“We need everyone to get involved and take action: citizens, the private sector and governments.”
The move is in line with one of the key strategies of the association: to minimize and eventually eliminate disposable plastic water bottles and other forms of plastic at the hotels.
“By joining forces with the UN CleanSeas campaign, our Hotels Association is continuing in our efforts to make a difference in and around Phuket,” said Mr Lark.
“Our environment defines our destination and our management and staff of approximately 20,000 in Phuket are committed to working with local government and international organisations to move towards a cleaner island,” he said.
The association will also provide environmental impact training for employees to educate them to reduce harmful effects that tourism has on the island and ocean. Each hotel has been asked to make individual commitments toward minimizing single-use plastic: at work, at home and in the community.
Nearly 40 countries from Kenya to Canada and Indonesia to Brazil and a number of key private sector and institutions, including DELL, Volvo Ocean Race and the World Association of Zoos and Aquaria have joined the #CleanSeas campaign, which aims to counter the torrents of plastic trash that are degrading our oceans and endangering the life they sustain, noted the Unep statement.
The countries account for more than half of the world’s coastline.
"The flow of pollution means detritus such as drinks bottles and flip-flops – as well as tiny plastic fragments, including microbeads used in cosmetics – are concentrating in the oceans and washing up on shorelines around the world, from deserted Pacific islets to the Arctic Circle," reported Unep.
"Humans have already dumped billions of tonnes of plastic, and are adding it to the ocean at a rate of 8 million tonnes a year. As well as endangering fish, birds and other creatures who mistake it for food or become entangled in it, plastic waste has also entered the human food chain with health consequences that are not yet fully understood. It also harms tourist destinations and provides breeding grounds for mosquitoes carrying diseases including dengue and Zika.
"The #CleanSeas campaign aims to 'turn the tide on plastic' by inspiring action from governments, businesses and individuals on ocean pollution," the statement concluded.