IHG to ditch 200 million mini plastic toiletries in favor of bulk-size amenities [Construction Report]

by | Aug 29, 2019 | Chains

IHG removing mini toiletries comes on the heels of the company banning the use of plastic straws on its properties by the end of 2019.

Citing environmental responsibility, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) will soon do away with ubiquitous small plastic bottles.

Governments across the globe are working to reduce the amount of plastic waste created by humans. One major hotel group, however, says they aren’t working fast enough. Or at least, they aren’t working as fast as businesses can if they put their minds to it.

That’s why InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) will soon do away with the long-ubiquitous mini-toiletries that come in small plastic bottles. In fact, the company recently vowed that it would be switching to bulk-sized bathroom products in its more than 5,600 hotels, spread throughout 100 countries. This is a big undertaking, as it will take place in both old and new properties.

“In many cases, we’ll be looking to retrofit our bathrooms depending on the solutions we choose,” says CEO Keith Barr.

IHG’s plan to reduce its plastic waste

At present, IHG estimates that it’s using roughly 200 million mini toiletry products each year.

That’s a lot, and to phase them out, the company is now working with its suppliers. The goal of the work is to design and install new, larger toiletries throughout the company’s nearly 850,000 guest rooms.

By the end of 2021, every bathroom within an IHG hotel— the likes of which include Holiday Inn, InterContinental Hotels and Resorts, and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, among others — will be stocked with large, refillable amenities.

This is a notable announcement because it reduces the amount of plastic mankind is creating. It also makes IHG the first global hotel group to commit all its brands to removing mini toiletries. This is on the heels of the company banning the use of plastic straws in its properties by the end of 2019.

What’s next?

Efforts by major hotel groups like IHG to become more environmentally friendly are ongoing.

Also on CEO Barr’s radar is a sustained effort to reduce food waste at IHG’s hotels, especially as it pertains to the company’s buffets. IHG recently partnered with Winnow, a technology that uses an intelligent camera, smart scales, and AI technology, to track the plates of guests from preparation to disposal, analyzing what food items are being most wasted, and in what quantities. Barr expects participating hotels to report a 30 percent reduction in food waste.

Let’s take a look at a few more projects by IHG:

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InterContinental Hotels Group operates hotels in three different ways – as a franchisor, a manager and on an owned and leased basis.

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