In late July 2019, IHG announced that they’d eliminate single-use shower toiletries globally by 2021. While this is no doubt at least partly a cost cutting move, it is also good for the environment, so I’m a fan of it.
I figured most other major hotel chains would follow, so it’s not surprising to see that the world’s largest hotel group has now made a similar announcement.
Marriott Eliminating Single-Use Toiletries
Marriott has today announced that they’re eliminating single-use toiletries (including shampoo, conditioner, and bath gel) in guest rooms globally. Instead they’ll be replacing them with larger, pump-topped bottles.
So far Marriott has rolled these out at about 1,000 properties in North America (mostly limited service hotels), and they expect most of their hotels to make the switch by December 2020.
Marriott says that when fully implemented, this will prevent about 500 million bottles per year from going into landfills, which equates to about 1.7 million pounds of plastic.
Marriott President Arne Sorenson had the following to say about this:
“This is our second global initiative aimed at reducing single-use plastics in just over a year, which underscores how important we believe it is to continuously find ways to reduce our hotels’ environmental impact. It’s a huge priority for us. Our guests are looking to us to make changes that will create a meaningful difference for the environment while not sacrificing the quality service and experience they expect from our hotels.”
In 2018 Marriott made the switch to larger bottles with pump dispensers at Courtyard by Marriott, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, Fairfield by Marriott, and TownePlace Suites. This was in addition to four other brands that already had these, including Aloft Hotels, Element by Westin, Four Points and Moxy Hotels.
My take on bulk-size toiletries
As I noted when IHG made the announcement, this is an area where I’ve evolved over time. In general I’ve not been a fan of hotel groups switching to bulk-size amenities, since it seemed to me mostly like a cost cutting measure.
While I do think it cuts cost, the reality is that it’s also the right thing to do. Toiletry miniatures are so wasteful and unnecessary, even if they are something that some people love about hotels.
So while I’m in favor of this nowadays, I do have a few hopes for IHG (and any other hotel brand that chooses to go this direction):
- Please don’t introduce worse toiletries just because the labeling might not be as obvious
- Please make sure housekeepers clean the containers properly
- Please make sure the containers work correctly, which I’ve found to be a major issue (like a pump being broken)