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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Plastic nightmares in quarantine hotels

A guest at a quarantine hotel had 21 plastic bottles of water delivered among various disposable items, including cutlery, despite asking not to be given them.
That was among complaints received by The Green Earth, which claimed that designated quarantine hotels have been dumping disposable products unnecessarily.

The Green Earth received three complaints in February and March against the same hotel - the Regal Airport at Chek Lap Kok - for delivering an excessive amount of disposable products.

Starting from December 25, travelers arriving from countries outside China have been required to undergo compulsory quarantine for 21 days at a designated quarantine hotel.

The Regal Airport Hotel is among the 36 designated hotels in Hong Kong.

The Green Earth shared one complainant's experiences at the hotel on its Facebook page yesterday, along with three photographs showing stacks of unused plastic lunch boxes, dozens of unopened plastic bottles of water as well as multiple plastic packages of washing powder, soap and dental sets.

A spokesman told The Standard that The Green Earth does not wish to disclose detailed information about the complainants to protect them.

The complainant it cited had e-mailed the hotel before returning to Hong Kong with a request to be spared disposable items.

But the 21 plastic bottles of water, among other things, showed the e-mailed plea had been in vain.

The green group spoke of the "nightmare" deliveries, being told by the complainant that along with the daily complimentary plastic bottle of water, there was a lunch box, plastic fork and plastic bags.

"I have reminded [the hotel] again and again, but they are still being delivered every day," the complainant said.

The complainant attempted to have staff take back disposable items that had not been touched, but the response was that "anti-epidemic items will be dumped even if they have not been used."

The complainant thinks the distribution of disposable supplies was due to laziness instead of poor communication.

"Some 4,368 travelers entered Hong Kong in January," The Green Earth noted on Facebook. And if all designated hotels distributed disposable supplies, an estimated 366,912 plastic water bottles would have been distributed."

The spokesman for The Green Earth told The Standard that quarantine hotels should ensure disposable supplies are not delivered to guests who prefer to use their own items.

"Or hotels should provide disposable items only upon the request of guests," he added.

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