This Huge Hotel Group Is Getting Rid of All Single-Use Plastic Toiletries

In a bid to reduce plastic waste, one of the world's largest hotel groups is going to completely cut out plastic toiletries.
Fabienne Lang

We've all stayed in hotels where mini plastic bottles of shampoo, shower gel, and conditioner, are replaced almost daily with fresh new ones.

As a guest, it can be quite lovely to have these little plastic bottles provided for us during our stays, but environmentally-speaking, these are not friendly at all.

The world's largest hotel groups, the InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) has decided to completely phase out single-use plastic toiletries in all of its hotels.

That would mean 200 million miniature plastics removed from circulation per year.


Why did IHG decide to make this move?

Some IHG hotels are indeed very well known, from the Crowne Plaza to the InterContinental, Hotel Indigo, and Holiday Inn Express, and there are 843,000 rooms in total to choose from across the 5,600 hotels. 

The ban, announced on Tuesday, is meant to be entirely set and ready by 2021

What will it involve? 

It will involve removing all mini single-use plastic toiletries in every room and bathroom and replacing them with larger, reusable, bulk-sized bottles. 

Some of their hotel chains already set the example with bulk-size bottles, such as the top end Six Senses and Voco brands. 

This move continues nicely onwards from IHG's previous sustainable decision to remove all plastic straws from its hotels by the end of 2019. 

As CEO of the UK-based group, Keith Barr, said: "But that's just a baby step. The next biggest thing we saw out there was single-use bathroom amenities."

This is indeed a bigger step and a positive one for the planet.

Barr continued to say that most hotel guests have praised and welcomed his hotel group's decision with open arms. 

He continued, "I probably get a complaint now and then from a customer who liked to take them home. I'm happy to get those complaints because I know we're doing the right thing for the environment."

This Huge Hotel Group Is Getting Rid of All Single-Use Plastic Toiletries
Toiletries. Source: McBeth/Flickr

The hope is for all hotels and hotel groups across the board to join in the ban, as Barr hopefully mentioned: "If we do it and everyone in the industry does it, that's a positive impact for the world." 

Furthermore, Barr wishes to move out of 'simply' replacing bathroom amenities and out into guest bedrooms and furniture, sourcing sustainable furniture and fixtures.

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