The owner of Holiday Inn, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), has pledged to do away with the convenient but wasteful mini shampoo and soap bottles that are a staple in its 843,000 guest rooms. IHG owns more than 5,600 hotels around the world and announced that it will phase out the small plastic bottles and opt for bulk-sized containers for all its hotels by the end of 2021.

Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos

According to the corporation, it uses over 200 million mini plastic bottles every year. Keith Barr, CEO of IHG, said, “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.”

Related: Companies pledge $1.5 billion to reduce plastic waste

IHG is the first global hotel corporation of its size to make this promise.

According to Barr, the announcement is also related to the national and local governments’ inability to pass stricter sustainability regulations. “We collectively as an industry have to lead where governments are not necessarily giving the leadership to make a difference.”

In addition to its interest in sustainability, the corporation’s board is also looking to attract more customers who are increasingly concerned about the environment. According to a survey sponsored by Hilton, a third of customers researched the company’s sustainability policies before booking a room. As a result, Hilton announced a pledge to cut its carbon footprint in half and double its investments in social good.

In addition to eliminating the small plastic bottles, IHG is working to phase out plastic straws by the end of 2019. A similar pledge was also made by the company’s competitor, Marriott International.

At least a third of IHG’s properties have already started using the bulk-sized toiletry dispensers, and the rest are working on the transition. The full phase-out will be completed by 2021.



Image via Melanie