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Thursday 17. October 2019

#4 The beginning of the end for tiny shampoo bottles in hotels

About 5 billion single-use plastic bottles to be replaced by multi-use toiletry amenities.

The time of tiny shampoos will be over soon – for good. In order to reduce plastic waste, Marriott is switching to closed dispenser systems in 450 hotels across five brands and plans to expand to 1,500 hotels in North America by January. InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is rolling out reusable toiletry amenities at four brands. IHG’s upscale Kimpton brand already uses closed dosage systems. New York State aims to reduce around 27 million plastic bottles of waste from more than 650 New York City hotels every year. Altogether, about 1,000 bottles in each of the more than 5 million hotel rooms in the US will be saved.

The time of tiny shampoo bottles will be over soon – for good. In order to reduce plastic waste, Marriott International will ban small plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioner and bath gel from its hotel rooms. The hotel chain is switching to closed dispenser systems in 450 hotels across five brands and plans to expand to 1,500 hotels in North America. The move will eliminate about 500 million small bottles each year or 1.7 million pounds of plastic. According to the Marriott president and CEO, Arne Sorenson, this is a logical step, as small bottles are difficult to recycle because of the time it takes to clean them out.

Denise Naguib, Marriott’s vice president of sustainability and supplier diversity, says Marriott got a positive response from guest surveys. Many were relieved because the larger bottles let them use as much or as little shampoo as they want. ‘More and more people have a general consciousness of it,’ she says. ‘They don’t want to be leaving halfempty bottles.’ In an email to the HuffPost, she claims that, since implementing the programme in North America in early 2018, they have continually received feedback from hotel owners and general managers that consumers are happy to be using less plastic and contributing less waste to landfills.

And Marriott is not the only one: IHG is rolling out reusable toiletry amenities across four brands, while its upscale Kimpton brand already uses closed dosage systems. This will save an average of 200 million non-reusable mini toiletry bottles according to IHG. The decision will affect 843,000 guest rooms in more than 5,600 hotels during 2021. ‘Switching to larger-size amenities across more than 5,600 hotels around the world is a big step in the right direction and will allow us to significantly reduce our waste footprint and environmental impact as we make the change,’ says IHG CEO Keith Barr. He also acknowledges that the savings in costs to hotel operations make the move an even bigger win for everyone. ‘I’m betting I’ll get more thank yous for taking a step forward and having a positive effect on the environment,’ he says. New York State aims to reduce around 27 million plastic bottles of waste from more than 650 New York City hotels every year.

Summed up, that means about 1,000 bottles of hotel cosmetics per room will be eliminated. And we are talking 5 million hotel rooms in the US alone.

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