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IHG Ditches Mini Toiletries

IHG Ditches Mini Toiletries
Jackie Reddy

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has said that, from 2021, it will be swapping miniature toiletries for bulk-sized bathroom goods across its wider estate of hotels. The announcement will affect almost 843,000 rooms. The chain will be the first hotel company to enact such a sustainability policy.

As part of a push towards greater sustainability, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced that, from 2021, it will be swapping miniature toiletries for bulk-sized bathroom goods across its hotel estate. In a statement, IHG, which owns the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza hotel brands, has confirmed that this change will affect nearly 843,000 guest units, making it the first hotel chain “to commit all brands to removing bathroom miniatures in favor of bulk-size amenities.

At present, the chain says that it uses about 200 million of these toiletry miniatures throughout its hotels each year. As a result of this swap to bulk toiletries, it hopes to make “a significant reduction” in the quantity of plastic waste it generates.

This announcement comes on the back of IHG’s decision to stop offering single-use plastic straws by the close of 2019.

Speaking of IHG’s decision to move to bulk-sized toiletry amenities, company CEO Keith Barr said, “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.

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,” he added.

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[Featured Image: Shutterstock]

View Comments (14)

14 Comments

  1. dddc

    July 31, 2019 at 3:51 am

    While the environmentalist in me applauds this decision, the traveler in me laments the ability to take home a memento of the trip. I keep the mini-toiletries in a display bowl in my bathroom and when I see them I get reminded of where I went and stayed on holidays. If I was a regular business traveller and stayed in the same hotel brand, then I’d probably be a lot less passionate about it, but as holidaymaker I will miss them and the ability to try different brands of soaps and moisturisers at home after my trip. Unless I sneak some into empty bottles to take home…… 🙂

  2. kc1174

    July 31, 2019 at 4:15 am

    Nice move, but realistically don’t most folk travel with their own toiletries anyway? Skin-drying soap and generic shampoo found in even the nicest hotels aren’t the best in the world. I travel with what I have (usually some elemis stuff and mini toothbrush from a BA amenity bag), along with other essentials. Only if I’m staying at or near a beach and need to shower multiple times a day do I ever use the hotel stuff.

  3. roelb

    July 31, 2019 at 4:24 am

    I don’t buy it. This has nothing to do with the environment, but is simply a cost saving measure.

    It would be so easy for hotels to seperate and recycle (the plastic from) those containers. Put a small extra bin in the bathroom for them and have housekeeping keep them seperate. That would be a very clean and 100% recyclable plastic waste flow. You could even recover the remaining soap in them and reuse that somewhere. Large chains can make a deal with the manufacturer of those toiletries, requiring them to take back and use that plastic for new bottles.

    But as far as I know no large chain actually seperates, let alone recycles plastic.

  4. dhturk

    July 31, 2019 at 4:26 am

    This is somewhat common in Europe; bulk dispensers in the bathrooms.

  5. alexmyboy

    July 31, 2019 at 5:26 am

    IHG sucks

  6. PapaJack

    July 31, 2019 at 6:21 am

    Well done, saving the plastic mess three bottles per room per evening stayed.

  7. arcticflier

    July 31, 2019 at 6:50 am

    Is this about greater “sustainability” or greater profit? Lets call it for what it is.

    I will not use “community” wall mounted shampoo/body wash. A guy scrubs his privates and then uses that same hand on the dispenser handle and then I am supposed to use that same handle?

    No thanks

  8. bassmomma

    July 31, 2019 at 9:21 am

    I will bring my own, adding to my “luggage.” Personally, I will not use anything from a “larger container” that has been used by other people.

  9. ChinaShrek

    July 31, 2019 at 11:27 am

    I am find with this move. I doubt many people are using the entire bottle of shampoo (and conditioner), especially if they are staying one one night at a hotel. Many of you are germaphobes and paranoid. It’s really no different from using hand soap or foam in a bathroom at the airport.

  10. taffygrrl

    July 31, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    I’m so excited about this. I could never get the last of the soap out of the tiny bottle and I always felt terrible about the many half-empty plastic bottles I left behind.

    To address points above:
    – they will probably continue to have bar hand soap that you can take home as a souvenir
    – most plastic is not recycled; it is shipped to poor countries where it is incinerated or disposed of – and those poor countries are now refusing the shipments (this is a huge problem generally for recycling)
    – That same guy who cleaned his privates and then touched the soap pump also touched the tap handles with that hand – and does so now under the current system. I’m assuming you still touch those tap handles that have been touched by someone else’s genitalia hands, right? I’m not sure why the soap dispensers are somehow worse.

  11. rylan

    July 31, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    Hotels are just using the thinly veiled guise of environmental sustainability to replace the toiletries with bulk items at significantly lower cost. Not to mention the impacts of these bulk items being unsanitary.

  12. fotographer

    August 2, 2019 at 5:15 am

    no thanks, as a Ambassador, I find this move … all about money
    from now on, I will bring my own.. dont like the bulk stuff..

  13. fairhsa

    August 2, 2019 at 8:22 am

    This is pathetic. I take home the bottles I half use and use the rest later. I travel so much it means I never need to buy shampoo or conditioner. Now I will. It’s just a cost saving measure.

  14. kkua

    August 3, 2019 at 7:29 am

    There’s no tampering safeguards in bulk items… potential for malicious intention to substitute lye or bleach in the shampoo/conditioner. Just like hotel minibars, I would rather trust the booze bought myself than to risk consuming rubbing alcohol.

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