InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) will switch from miniature-sized bathroom amenities to bulk-size bathroom amenities in all of its hotel properties by 2021 to reduce plastic waste.
IHG is the first global hotel company to commit all brands to remove bathroom miniatures and we applaud them for this bold move and commitment to be more environmentally friendly. In October 2018, IHG pledged to remove plastic straws from its hotels by the end of 2019. This would remove an average of 50 million straws each year.
Miniature bathroom amenities are not refilled most of the time, making them single-use items. It has always been contentious whether miniature bathroom amenities would make it any less luxurious for luxury hotels. My argument against that is that we do not use miniature bathroom amenities at home.
Some 200 million bathroom miniatures are being used across all of its hotels every year.
“It’s more important than ever that companies challenge themselves to operate responsibly – 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.Keith Barr, CEO, IHG
“We’ve already made great strides in this area, with almost a third of our estate already adopting the change and we’re proud to lead our industry by making this a brand standard for every single IHG hotel. We’re passionate about sustainability and we’ll continue to explore ways to make a positive difference to the environment and our local communities.”
IHG is ensuring a quality guest experience with this switch to bulk-size amenities. Today Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas offer bathroom products in refillable ceramic dispensers. Kimpton Hotels & Resorts are already moving to larger-size amenities. voco Hotels, EVEN Hotels and avid hotels brands have all offered bulk-size amenities since launch. Over 1,000 Holiday Inn Express hotels in the Americas have already been implementing the change alongside some Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites properties in the region.
There are many other sustainable initiatives by IHG.
- The duvets and pillows at IHG’s voco Hotels are filled with 100% recycled materials. That is equivalent to 150 plastic bottles per guest room diverted from the landfill.
- IHG-branded hotels in the US and Canada have a renovation donation initiative with the IHG Owners Association. Removal of furniture, fixtures and equipment during renovations are donated to non-profit organisations, including United Way Worldwide and Good360.
- The IHG Green Engage is an online sustainability programme which recommends ways for IHG branded hotels around the world to manage their waste more efficiently.
- Many IHG hotels have partnered with Winnow to track, measure and reduce food waste for more sustainable and efficient restaurant and bar operations. Winnow’s AI-enabled technology will help IHG hotels achieve 30% reduction of food waste.
The hotel industry needs to stop supplying miniature bathroom amenities and transition to bulk-sized ones. Yes, we are appealing to the Marriott Group, Accor, Hilton, Hyatt, Radisson, Wyndham and the other hotel groups around the world to champion this cause.
It is understandable that the current supply of amenities needs to be depleted but making that commitment is the first step. Kudos to IHG for making this first bold move.