Hydrate sans plastic

Marriott International and S’well are partnering to go plastic-free

It might take a moment to recall the last time you used plastic—not necessarily because you rarely use it, but rather because it’s become so ubiquitous that we no longer find its consumption remarkable.

Nonetheless it is crucial to be mindful, for plastic has been wreaking havoc on marine life and the environment by forming island-sized floating structures in the oceans. We humans have not been left out, either; a study at Ghent University in Belgium concluded that people who consume seafood ingest up to 11,000 tiny plastic particles every year. Highlighting the circulation of bottles only, a June 2017 Guardian exclusive reported that a million plastic bottles are purchased every minute globally, a number that is expected to shoot up another 20 percent by 2021.

The enormity of the matter may only be realized while making conscious efforts toward going plastic-free. But the silver lining is that many organizations—local and global, private and non-profit—are up to curbing the use of, and finding alternatives to, plastic.

Marriott International just scored extra points in the effort to go plastic-free when it shook hands with S’well—the upscale, reusable beverage bottle—on a nationwide deal across its extended stay Element Hotels. The partnership supplies all 25 Element properties in the U.S. with refillable S’well bottles for the guestrooms and also makes them available for purchase at the brand’s RESTORE pantry. Guests can hydrate sans plastic by refilling the bottle from filtered water spouts without stepping out of their room.

Hydrate sans plastic bottle

To put this into perspective, assuming that a guest stays for a week at the extended-stay property and buys three 16.9-ounce bottles per day, the single guest will generate 21 bottles worth of waste during the course of their sojourn. When you consider the number of plastic water bottles used from all 25 properties annually, it easily adds up to a six-figure number. Reusable water bottles are certainly one way to cause this figure to plummet.

A million plastic bottles are purchased every minute globally, a number that is expected to shoot up another 20 percent by 2021.

S’well bottles are available for in-hotel purchase at Element and Aloft Hotels—and will soon be rolled out at AC Hotels by Marriott.

“When you choose a S’well product, you’re choosing a beautiful, simple, sustainable way to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day—doing yourself and the planet a favor,” said Sarah Kauss, founder and CEO of S’well. “This partnership is a perfect opportunity to help guests start to create smart habits that they can carry with them throughout the year and wherever their adventures take them.”

Perils of plastic by the numbers
Perils of plastic

* One person can displace 167 bottles a year. [Data courtesy of S’well.]

Refilling a reusable bottle from your tap also saves energy. According to a 2009 Environmental Research Letters journal article, it takes up to 2,000 times as much energy in bottling, transporting, and refrigerating water rather than filling it from tap.

S’well bottles are made of 18/8 stainless steel—consisting of 18 percent chromium and eight percent nickel. The rest is iron. It can maintain the temperature of hot beverages for 12 hours and cold for an entire day.

The eco-conscious Element hotel properties operate under the “reduce, reuse, recycle” philosophy. The brand claims to use as much recycled material as possible in construction and design, including products such as carpets. Low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint improves air quality indoors. VOCs are found in the likes of paints, air fresheners, and other everyday chemicals which have been shown to have an adverse effect on one’s health. The brand has been mindful about plastic use by offering dispensers instead of mini-bottles for bath amenities, and equipping each room with recycle bins for paper, plastic, and glass.

S’well bottles are available for in-hotel purchase at Element and Aloft Hotels—and will soon be rolled out at AC Hotels by Marriott.

The partnership brings Marriott International a step closer toward its recently launched 2025 Sustainability and Social Impact Goals. The hotel giant is making efforts to lower environmental impact by building and operating sustainable properties and sourcing responsibly through its Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction platform.

S’well was launched in 2010 with a mission to rid the world of plastic water bottles by creating products that deliver beautiful design and quality performance. The company is committed to developing sustainable and responsible business practices, amplifying the simple ways individuals and organizations can create change through a wide range of programs. S’well has created the Million Bottle Project—a campaign to raise awareness about the impact of plastic on the environment—and continues to identify new opportunities to start conversations and take action to positively impact the world.