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Soho House Attempting To Go Plastic-Free

by Rudy Sanchez on 05/07/2019 | 2 Minute Read

Soho House is a private members-only club open for folks in artistic industries with 23 locations across the globe. Unlike most other social clubs, its membership process is less about status and wealth and more about creativity. At Soho House’s West Hollywood club, Kim Kardashian and cast members of The Real Housewives have been rejected membership, a rare rebuke in Los Angeles for “influencers” and reality TV stars.

Soho House has also distinguished itself from other private clubs by committing to significantly reduce the amount of plastic it uses in their locations. As a part of this initiative, it has agreed to become one of the world’s first adopters of A Plastic Planet’s Commitment Mark “Working Towards Plastic Free.”

This mark, which is awarded to businesses who commit to making significant changes to their reliance on plastic, is a signal that the organization has a serious intention to drastically bring down the amount of plastic used in their operations. A Plastic Planet recognizes that the process towards plastic free is a journey, and acknowledges that no business can be 100% plastic free, but the mark is not bestowed lightly and requires the organization to devote more than empty pledges towards less dependence on the material, of which only 9% gets recycled across the globe.

“None of us are plastic saints, and those words ‘plastic’ and ‘free’ must never be devalued. Hence, this is a Commitment Mark showing real intention to pursue change," said A Plastic Planet co-founder Sian Sutherland in the Evening Standard. "Of course, it isn’t easy. We have all become blind to the omnipresence of plastic everywhere, but every head chef, every House manager and every bar manager at Soho House is committed to making this happen."

As part of the “Working Towards Plastic Free” mark, Soho Houses will conduct a plastic audit of all 23 of their locations and pilot plastic-free solutions at their Barcelona location initially before pushing them out to other clubs. They will also create a new board-level position of Plastic Free Ambassador who will oversee and update both staff and members on progress, holding the members’ club accountable for their plastic-free efforts.

A Plastic Planet’s business mark differs from their Plastic Free Consumer Trust Mark, which is awarded to individual products whose packaging and product are 99% plastic-free, accommodating 1% of plastic, because, as A Plastic Planet admits, “there is plastic absolutely everywhere - even in the air.  To be absolute on plastic now is virtually impossible. Sad but true.”

Founded in 2017, non-profit A Plastic Plant was founded with a single goal - dramatically reduce the use of conventional plastic, especially in food and beverage packaging. The group is also behind A Plastic Free Aisle, partnering with Dutch supermarket chain Ekoplaza to create an evolving showcase for all supermarkets and the industry, demonstrating what a plastic-free future looks.