States, cities, airlines, hoteliers and more join the campaign to reduce plastics
As public awareness campaigns continue to highlight the significant damage caused by the large amounts of plastics ending up in our oceans and landfills, more cities, states and corporations are beginning to react.
Seattle became the first big U.S. city to ban the use of plastic straws as of July 1, 2018. California, Hawaii and specific areas in Florida and New Jersey are also looking at banning items such as plastic straws. Corporations including American and Alaska Airlines, Hyatt, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and SeaWorld Entertainment have all announced plans or recently implemented programs aimed at reducing or eliminating the use of unnecessary plastic items such as plastic straws and drink picks or even plastic shopping bags as applicable in the United States. Internationally companies including Ryanair, Fiji Airways, Thai Airways and Marriott International also have plans to reduce or eliminate these types of plastics on their flights or from their hotels. Most companies will be offering non-plastic replacements, though some may only be available upon request.
IHG finalizes acquisition of Regent Hotels & Resorts; launches new upscale brand
Intercontinental Hotel Group has officially expanded its presence in the luxury market as its acquisition of Regent Hotels & Resorts has been finalized. IHG officials say things are business as usual for now, but customers should watch for future announcements as IHG fully integrates Regent into its family of hotel brands.
IHG also announced the launch of a new upscale brand called Voco. Properties under the Voco brand will “combine the informality and charm of an individual hotel with the quality and reassurance of a global and respected brand.” Voco hotels will feature locally influenced upscale amenities. IHG expects to grow the brand to more than 200 hotels over the next several years particularly in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Uber gets probationary approval to operate in London
After months of legal-limbo, Uber received probationary approval to continue operations in London. Government officials say that under the 15-month license Uber will still be subject to regular monitoring to ensure it is meeting all requirements. Uber’s original request for a five-year license was rejected last year, but the provider was allowed to operate during the appeals process.