Hotel group gets rid of mini toiletries to reduce plastic footprint

InterContinental Hotels Group says it will replace with bulk versions to cut down on plastic waste.

This is a valid point as every day millions of bars of soap and half-used bottles of shampoo are discarded in hotels around the world!

US hotels throw out an estimated two million bars of soap daily!

The days of stashing mini toiletries in your bag upon leaving a hotel room are nearing the end. InterContinental Hotels Group, which owns more than 5,000 hotels worldwide across several brands including Holiday Inn, has announced it will be phasing these out in order to cut down on plastic waste. It will replace the 200 million mini toiletries it hands out annually with less wasteful bulk versions.

CEO Keith Barr told the Financial Times, “We collectively as an industry have to lead where governments are not necessarily giving the leadership to make a difference.” He also said that investor pressure is a driving force. “Five years ago it was a tick the box exercise. Today it’s follow-up meetings going through in detail what are we doing about our carbon footprint.”

A study conducted by Hilton last year found that one-third of visitors research a hotel’s environmental policies before booking, and this number is likely to increase as more people express concern about single-use plastics and pressure retailers to take action. Hilton also announced in March that it would collect partially used bars of soap and melt them down to form new ones.

How exactly IHG intends to switch from mini to bulk toiletries is unclear. Perhaps they will install dispensers in hotel rooms; its luxury brands are apparently already offering toiletries in ceramic containers. A more drastic yet logical route would be to eliminate the free toiletries altogether or offer them for sale at the front desk as needed.

More information can be read in the UK Telegraph post.

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