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members of congress michael honda of california hears the waste-eliminating impact of dispensers from ian wallace dispenser amenities

Dispenser Amenities Invited to Innovation Showcase on Capitol Hill

March 16, 2015 was a day created to focus the attention of Lawmakers in Washington on the crisis of plastic waste in our oceans and also a day for 20 Innovative Companies, including Dispenser Amenities, to demonstrate to those on Capitol Hill ways to reduce or eliminate that flow of plastic waste.

Daniella Russo and her organization, Think Beyond Plastic™, have been aware of the meaningful difference in plastic waste made by Dispenser Amenities and our Hotel and Cruise Line customers.  At the present time, our cruise partners keep more than 100,000 plastic amenity bottles out of the waste stream every night by using Dispensers.  Globally, our customers keep more than a million waste plastic bottles from the landfill each day.  Our invitation to take part in this important day was unique to us, as a Canadian Company and our President, Ian Wallace, was honored to participate.Sam-Farr

The presentation was organized and supported by the House Ocean Caucus and Representatives Michael Honda and Sam Farr of California spoke to the group of Innovators and attendees about the importance of plastic waste reduction and how innovation in design and material is required to change our disastrous course.  Dispenser Amenities was likely the member of the Innovation Group with the longest and widest market penetration.  Our twenty years’ experience in successful plastic waste reduction contrasted significantly with the majority of Innovators who are just entering the market or still working feverishly to get to market.

The massive nature of the problem was brought into focus by Professor Jenna Jambeck, an Environmental Engineer from the University of Georgia,
during a lunchtime panel discussion.  In a recently published study, she and her associates studied the waste production of the 192 countries with Ocean coastline in the world.  Through understanding of the amount of plastic in their waste streams and the ability of these countries to properly handle this
Think-Beyond-Plastic-Daniella-Russowaste, the group determined that 8.8 Million tons of plastic was added to the oceans in 2010, through littering and waste handling mismanagement.  She said, “That is equivalent to five grocery bags of plastic trash added for every foot of ocean coastline on earth, in one year.”  That defines a catastrophe.  And her study predicts this amount will double in ten years.

Obviously, our ability to reduce and recycle plastic cannot come close to solving this problem at our present pace of finding solutions.  That’s why innovative thinking and innovative product designs are so vitally important in this War on Plastic Waste.  Several Members of Congress and Scores of Congressional Staffers saw first-hand a variety of innovative ways to improve the world’s odds in winning the war.


Why Disposables should be considered the Most Expensive Items on Earth!

The cost to remove all of the disposable garbage from the world’s oceans, would exceed the monetary reserves of any country on the planet!

In the modern economy, environmentally conscious manufacturers and consumers consider price to include not only the purchase price, but also the disposal cost.  Fifty years ago both consumers and manufacturers were ecstatic about what seemed like a huge step forward in manufacturing, and particularly, in packaging.  At this time, plastics were gaining a reputation as a “miracle fix” for any business looking to reduce costs.

This trend continued for decades and, for businesses reaping the cost benefits associated with plastics, the money came pouring in.  It all made perfect sense at the time.  Offering convenience to consumers was of paramount importance, as was saving on expenses. 

Today, in the 21st century, we are paying the price for the plastic “miracle fix”.  Plastic garbage is everywhere.  In North America, the waste disposal system is efficient enough to shelter us from this disaster.  However, developing countries are less prepared to deal with the excessive volume of modern plastic waste, resulting in heaps of waste everywhere.  It has become our environmental responsibility to alter our mindset and no longer regard plastic as ‘cheap’ because of the high cost of throwing it away.

The ocean currently holds over 5.25 trillion pieces of trash according to a 2015 National Geographic article. 

Can you put a price on removing over 5 trillion pieces of plastic trash from the ocean?  The answer is no, because it cannot be done with our current resources.  We do not have the resources to allocate an adequate amount of time, energy, equipment or manpower to removing this waste.

Fortunately, many people and businesses out there that are adopting a new ideology:  Disposables are among the most expensive items on the planet.

Recently, we have seen some creative alternatives to disposables. Social media exploded with excitement after KFC announced that for its 50th anniversary, it was rolling out an edible Scoff-ee Cup to be introduced to selected outlets across the UK. The Scoff-ee Cup is a cup made from a wafer coated in sugar paper and lined with heat-resistant white chocolate that can be eaten as the coffee is consumed.  The white chocolate slowly melts, releasing extra sweetness to your drink. 

Additionally, Ecovative Design has come up with a great solution for disposables.  For decades there has been a major issue with Styrofoam ocean buoys used in ocean farming operations.  These buoys suffer quite a bit of wear and tear and regularly become lost or destroyed.  This was not regarded as any big deal in the past because the buoys were so ‘cheap’ to replace.  As a result, Styrofoam currently makes up 30% of the ocean’s trash in physical volume, and Styrofoam waste is finally being taken seriously.  Ecovative Design has found a way to grow a synthetic Styrofoam cultivated from agricultural waste and mycelium (mushroom tissue).  Over 3 days, these materials grow together to form a Styrofoam like material that is both cost effective, and floats in water.  Synthetic Styrofoam has additional environmental benefits.  When it breaks down, it does not become pollution, but rather a natural part of the ocean and a food source for marine creatures.

We applaud both KFC and Ecovative for executing these innovative ideas to help save our planet.  We challenge other businesses to adopt the ideology that disposables are not ‘cheap’.  If everybody continues thinking that words like ‘inexpensive’ and ‘cheap’ apply only to the monetary cost of a product, we are doomed.  Forward thinkers such as KFC and Ecovative, and consumers who use their purchasing power and voices to make green decisions, are the only salvation from this planet being completely consumed by disposable plastic!


Dispenser Amenities President on Sustainable Housing in Canada

When Ian Wallace founded Dispenser Amenities Inc., he embarked on a mission to change the way people think about disposables in hospitality bathrooms.  Now, over 20 years later and having realized that dream, he is delighted to take part in another sustainable development project, this time from his seat on the Board of Directors at the trend setting Canadian property development company, Sifton Properties Limited.

Announced last spring as a collaboration between Sifton Properties and Sun 2 Earth Technologies (S2E), the planned community, West 5, will be Ontario’s first net zero community. As a net zero community, West 5 will include 2000 residential units, 400,000 square feet of commercial and retail space, and will generate all of the power necessary to sustain the community.  This will be achieved through a combination of generating energy using solar panels, conserving energy with efficient design and appliances, and storing or repurposing excess energy to discourage energy waste.  Salt free roads, rainwater collection, and greywater systems, are some of the other notable environmentally friendly systems planned for West 5.

Last year, Dispenser Amenities featured sustainable community developments in our newsletter story, “Digital Ecopolis” spotlighting two similar projects located in Spain and South Korea.  We are elated to see this movement spread to our hometown London, Ontario, Canada and to have our company President sitting on the Board of Directors.

“It makes sense for everybody”, says Ian Wallace.  “When I first introduced our sustainable shower amenities dispenser system to the hospitality industry about 20 years ago, it made sense and started to be adopted by Hotel industry pioneers because it works, both environmentally and financially.  The exact same applies for housing.  People are realizing that waste and inefficiencies are detrimental for themselves and the planet.  An investment today, to build things with sustainability in mind, will pay off for us all in the long run.  Investors, home owners and commercial tenants will see their return on investment improve as energy-wise building methods become more prevalent and more cost-effective”.


IHG approves Dispenser Amenities for Holiday Inn Express throughout Europe

Our Customized AVIVA Dispenser was recently approved by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) for all Holiday Inn Express locations across Europe! IHG loved the quality of the AVIVA Dispenser, the huge environmental benefits and also the financial savings they offer properties. Popular worldwide, our sleek AVIVA units look just fantastic with the Holiday Inn Express labels.

Most recently, IHG’s Holiday Inn Express, Rome, installed AVIVA Dispensers filled with Dispenser Amenities Eco-Wave shower liquids in all 86 rooms. The Holiday Inn Express, Rome will now contribute no small plastic amenity bottles going to local landfills!  In total, there are now 43 Holiday Inn Express hotels using AVIVA Dispensers across Europe.

Patrizio Piredda, General Manager of the Holiday Inn Express, Rome, says “The AVIVA Dispensers are fantastic! We are saving a lot of money, the housekeeping staff are saving time, and the product is excellent quality! We have also had great feedback from our guests!”

Thank you Holiday Inn Express, Rome, and all of the other hotels making similar efforts. Thank you IHG for setting such a great example for the rest of the industry by approving dispensers and for creating the Green Engage™ program, making strides to protect our planet’s future!

HolidayInnExpress-37244-1BSKIn 2013, IHG launched a set of sustainability standards featuring a new online sustainability management program called Green Engage™. The program is intended to help all IHG hotels address new sustainability standards in order to meet the expectations of today’s eco-conscious travelers.  All locations associated with IHG now have access to the Green Engage™ online tool which details over 200 brand-approved environmental initiatives. These methods, used in combination, can reduce environmental impact and achieve energy saving up to 25%! 

Green Engage™ will be compulsory for all 4,700 IHG hotel locations by the end of 2015.  This will have a huge impact on our planet in raw energy savings alone.  According to IHG’s Vice President, Paul Snyder, Green Engage™ is reported to have saved $73 million in raw energy costs from its inception through October 2014.

Rick Takach, president and CEO of Vesta Hospitality, said: “My hotels participate in the IHG Green Engage™ system because it makes absolute business sense. Through reducing utility consumption and costs and driving revenue. It is a no-brainer.”

To see an industry leader like IHG implement a policy guaranteeing environmental reform across nearly five thousand hotels reinforces our belief in the future of green hospitality.


Plastic Pollution Videos

[youtube width=”600″ height=”400″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fddYApFEWfY [/youtube]

 

[youtube width=”600″ height=”400″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qT-rOXB6NI[/youtube]

 

[youtube width=”600″ height=”400″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rp124tXLfs​[/youtube]


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