On July 20th, at 7 AM, a JW Marriott’s sponsored beach-wide clean-up was underway from their beachfront property to Crystal Shores. Volunteers scoured the sand and parts of the dunes for “collectibles” such as plastic cups, lids, bags, straws and also found disposable wipes and masks.
JW’s team members were joined by their beachfront neighbors, the crew of the Marco Island Watersports and Regency Watersports and members of the community. According to Jamie Bowden, JW’s Director of Guest Experience and organizer of the July clean-up, 30+ volunteers joined the morning event and collected 50+ pounds of trash.
Andrew Tyler, a beach resident, has been on record arguing that “the hotel community of Marco Island needs to be more attentive to trash accumulation as a consequence of their use of our beach.” Having attended the beach clean-up, Tyler acknowledged that, “The event was a success and he would like to encourage other properties on the beach to consider similar sponsorships in the future.”
According to Bowden, the JW Marriott has always done a routine beach clean-up with their staff every day, and this is their first sponsored beach-wide clean-up. Bowden added that JW is committed to the cleanliness of the beach and keeping it safe for the nesting sea turtles.
Tracy Tirell, JW Marriott’s Senior Marketing Manager, shared that the resort fosters a “clean-up as you go” mentality with all of their associates. If the staff sees debris, they pick it up. Daily beach pick-up occurs twice daily—once when the resort officially “close” the beach at night and when the team departs for the evening. Tirell added that since guests are never prohibited access to the beach in the evening hours, each morning when the team returns there is always a new round of debris from guests. Bowden added that his team is present on the beach from 6:30 AM to 8:30 PM.
Industry research has also shown that when guests are visiting a beach destination, a clean beach is very important to them. In addition, a clean beach is an indicator that JW’s Marco location is engaged in environmental issues such as the protection of endangered sea turtles. As part of JW’s check–in procedure, during nesting season, guests are provided information on the nesting sea turtles and migratory birds.
In August of 2018, the JW Marriott made a commitment to reduce plastic pollution on the beach. Amanda Cox the JW Marriott’s Director of Sales and Marketing was proud to announce their commitment to “preserve paradise” one sip at a time. The JW Marriott eliminated the use of plastic straws throughout the resort and replaced them with Aardvark paper straws made in the USA and are 100% compostable and marine–degradable. Cox indicated that JW Marriott’s Marco location used 60,000 straws per month prior to the plastic straw ban. That’s 720,000 plastic straws less per year!
Jamie Bowden announced that the JW Marriott will move to a quarterly sponsored beach-wide clean-up schedule. Bookmark September 7th, starting at 7 AM – 8 AM. To join the clean-up, please contact: Jamie.Bowden@marriott.com.