Travel insights from Jenna Buege, associate editor of The Compass

2 Major Hotel Brands are Putting the Flush on Mini Toiletries

In late July, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announced its plan to remove mini toiletries from guest rooms by 2021. In exchange for single-use products, IHG is opting for bulk-size bathroom amenities in an effort to reduce plastic waste in support IHG’s sustainable agenda.

With almost 843,000 guest rooms, IHG currently supplies an average of 200 million single-use toiletries every year. IHG’s new brand standard will make it the first global hotel company committed to removing miniature toiletries and a leader in sustainability in the travel industry.

“It’s more important than ever that companies challenge themselves to operate responsibly,” said Keith Barr, CEO of IHG. “We know it’s what our guests, owners, colleagues, investors and suppliers rightly expect. 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.”

IHG’s battle against plastic doesn’t end in the bathroom, the hotel group also pledged to remove all plastic straws from its hotels by the end of 2019.

Another big brand committing to this change is Marriott International who is estimated to eliminate more than 1 billion plastic straws and a quarter billion plastic stirrers per year once the pledge goes into full effect. “We are proud to be among the first large U.S. companies to announce that we’re eliminating plastic straws in our properties worldwide,” said Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International. “Removing plastic straws is one of the simplest ways our guests can contribute to plastic reduction when staying with us.”

Along with that announcement last year, Marriott pledged to replace small toiletries with large, in-shower dispensers in their hotels, starting with 450 of their select-service properties.

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