The Kamloops Accommodation Association wants a seat at the table when the city reviews single-use plastics.
The association drafted a letter to the city, which was recently received by the city’s civic operations committee.
That committee has been tasked by city council to review single-use plastic items, following debate on banning businesses from using single-use plastic bags. In its letter to the city, the association acknowledged climate change and unnecessary waste as “very real threats” to environmental and economic well-being, but cautioned that widespread changes need to be considered carefully.
Association director Tim Rodgers, who manages the Best Western Plus hotel on Columbia Street, told KTW the city’s 53 local hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts face challenges in eliminating single-use items.
“We want to make sure when they’re [the city] looking at this review, they’re looking at all the different challenges different industries have,” Rodgers said.
Items that specifically pose challenges to the local accommodations industry include cutlery, drycleaning bags and bottled water.
Replacing cutlery with real cutlery poses risk of theft and Rodgers said many hotels do not have dishwashers to properly clean them. He is not fully aware of alternative drycleaning bag options and explained one brand standard is to provide certain guests with bottled water.
He said international guests unfamiliar with the city’s water expect that service.
“That’s a brand standard, so if you cannot do that, the brand will not allow you to stay in the brand,” he said.
Rodgers also echoed a call from the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce for a phase-in period, noting companies often purchase supplies on an annual basis.
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps has called on Kamloops to replicate its bylaw banning single-use plastic bags, which includes some exceptions, such as drycleaning bags.
The city’s civic operations committee will be in touch with the Kamloops Accommodation Association when it reviews commercial recycling.