IHG Switches To Bulk Bathroom Amenities, Eliminating Miniature Plastic Bottles

Bulk bathroom amenities in a Holiday Inn Express & Suites (Photographer: Corey Stovin)
Bulk bathroom amenities in a Holiday Inn Express & Suites (Photographer: Corey Stovin)

ATLANTA—IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) today announced that its hotel portfolio totaling nearly 843,000 guestrooms will switch to bulk bathroom amenities, with the transition to be completed during 2021. Building on its efforts to reduce plastic waste as part of a broader sustainability agenda, this pledge makes IHG the first global hotel company to commit all brands to removing bathroom miniatures in favor of bulk-size amenities.

“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,” said Keith Barr, CEO of IHG. “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.”

Barr added that nearly a third of IHG’s portfolio has adopted the change so far. “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,” Barr said.

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IHG guests currently use an average of 200 million bathroom miniatures across the company’s entire hotel portfolio every year. As the new brand standard is adopted between now and 2021, the company expects to see a significant reduction in plastic waste. This commitment builds on IHG’s pledge to remove plastic straws from its hotels by the end of 2019, and a number of broader waste reduction initiatives already in place. IHG is a constituent of the FTSE4Good Index, and recently joined the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Economy 100 network.

Joe Murphy, lead of the CE100, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said, “We welcome IHG’s action to reduce plastic waste through this new commitment. Achieving a circular economy will be a challenging journey, but by working together we can find solutions to design out waste, keep materials in use, and regenerate our environment.”

Several IHG brands have already made the switch to bulk bathroom products: Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas offers bathroom products in refillable ceramic dispensers across its luxury portfolio; Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is moving to larger-size amenities; IHG’s voco Hotels, EVEN Hotels, and avid hotels have all offered bulk-size amenities since launch, working closely with suppliers to offer dispensers and products that retain a quality feel; and more than 1,000 Holiday Inn Express hotels in the Americas have already implemented the change, alongside a number of Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites properties in the region.