First Slovenian Hotel on the Zero Waste path — Hotel Ribno
Bled, Maj 10th 2018 – Today Hotel Ribno officially received the title of Zero Waste Hotel, the first in Slovenia. After two intensive years of waste reduction and separation measures, they managed to reach a 92% separate collection rate, also meeting the international requirement for a zero waste title.
This article was written and translated by Zero Waste Europe member Ekologi Brez Meja (Ecologists Without Borders). For more information please contact: [email protected]
Photo by: Polona Ponikva
The hotel and its employees were not alone on this journey however, being coached by Ekologi brez meja, the local custodians of the title, and their partner Hotel Rifiuti Zero, which has introduced zero waste measures to more than 20 Italian hotels already. Gaining the title required more than just filling out forms; it would be impossible without the strong determination of the management and employees, who weighed and inspected hotel waste on several occasions. While policy changes in the workplace are the key to success, it’s the measures undertaken that are most visible, be it the custom hallway separation bins or the packaging-free food offering.
Hotel Ribno director Matija Blažič commented the occasion: “Just as today we are the odd one out as someone tackling it first, in a few years, so will every company that won’t be working on it, just that this time they’ll be a negative example.” They started on the zero waste path because they felt it was the right thing to do and still encourage other stakeholders in tourism from zero waste municipality Bled to join them, as tourists produce as much as 70% of all waste there.
Ekologi Brez Meja (Ecologists Without Borders), the national Zero Waste organisation for Slovenia, which started to introduce the concept to tourism a few years ago, regularly warns that tourism can also have negative effects on the environment. President Urša Zgojznik added: “Deciding to start the journey to waste reduction requires the understanding of its urgency and courage to persevere. Such effort is awarded with motivated colleagues, higher quality of service and the recognition of the hotel or event as being environmentally responsible.”
Ekologi Brez Meja has had tight cooperation with Italian company Hotel Rifiuti Zero (HRC) from the very beginning of the process. HRC ushered a change in Italian tourism when it comes to understanding waste. Antonino Esposito: “The community can thank Hotel Ribno and people who set new milestones in understanding quality of life and its connection to nature. Hotels are no exception here.”
Slovenian state secretary Eva Štravs Podlogar, from the Ministry of economic development and technology, also supports the first zero waste steps in Slovenian hotels: “The Strategy for Slovenian tourism says that Slovenia is a green, active and healthy country for 5-star experiences. Today we witness this coming true.” Hotel Ribno has thus became a model and encouragement for all Slovenian accommodations.“The Strategy for Slovenian tourism says that Slovenia is a green, active and healthy country for 5-star experiences. Today we witness this coming true.”