Reduce plastic use - Lounges, Airlines, Hotels

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Airlines: Most Airlines and Airport Lounges in India serve water in 200ml bottles, which generates immense amount of plastic waste. 

With the most conservative estimates it's at a minimum 10,000 kg (or 11 US tons) of plastic waste generated every year. (See sources and assumptions below)

Airline/Lounge Request: In lounges, replace 200ml bottles with multiple water dispensers and paper cups. In flights, that are longer than say 60 mins or the load is lighter - and the air hostesses have more time to serve passengers - airlines should replace 200ml bottles with paper cups served from a 2L water bottle.

Though these would also generate paper waste, relative to plastic it's better. Also the amount of wastage would be lesser because several people take a plastic water bottles with them.

Hotels: Most higher category hotels (3 stars and above perhaps) supply toiletries and amenities in small plastic bottles (~20-30ml). They also supply drinking water in plastic bottles (usually 500ml or 1L bottles).

Again with conservative estimates, hotels alone generate more than 30,000 kg (or 33 US tons) of plastic waste every year.

Hotel Request: Replace small toiletry bottles with re-fillable glass or plastic bottles. Drinking water could also be served in glass/copper bottles or jugs. Recently one hotel I stayed at did this and also put a small paper seal to indicate to the guests that it was refilled from a clean source and sealed. There can be one or multiple water dispenser on each floor to allow guests to refill the glass bottles.

The govt had indicated few months back that they might be banning the usage of plastics in hotels soon but not sure if it has taken effect yet.

Sources & Assumptions: I realize I have relied on merely web based statistics and just done very cursory research, however, the fact remains irrefutable that several tons of plastic waste per year is generated by airlines, lounges and hotels in India alone. 

Airline Stats: Airline traffic in India in 2017 stood at 11.7 Crores (117 Million) and continues to grow. A number of passengers use the airline lounges with several credit card companies and airlines offering the lounge use privilege at a small incremental cost. 

117,000,000 * 10% passengers being served in plastic bottles * 9gms/bottle = 10,530 kg

The actual number is probably several times higher because this assumes 1 bottle per passenger and doesn't take into account airline traffic that also uses the lounge. (Couldn't find lounge stats)

Hotel Stats: Number of hotel rooms in India at FY2015 (3 years back) stood at 115,000 and also continues to grow. With hotel occupancy rates hovering around 65%, again with conservative estimates, hotels alone generate 30,000 kg (or 33 US tons) of plastic waste every year.

115,000 rooms * 65% Occupancy * 365 Days * 6gms plastic waste /room * 20% of hotels using plastic bottles for amenities/drinking water = 32,740 kg

The actual number here is also probably several times higher since some of the stats are dated.


1. Livemint - "India’s air traffic doubles to 117 million passengers in 6 years", Last Published: Wed, Jan 24 2018

2. Indian Express: "Hotel room inventory expansion: Small is the new big", Updated: September 9, 2017

3. Times of India: "‘Hotel occupancy highest in 10 years",  Updated: Oct 19, 2017

4. Times of India: "Govt may ban plastic water bottles in hotels", Updated: Nov 16, 2017.