Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

In Industry First, IHG to Phase Out Plastic Toiletry Bottles From All 17 of Its Hotel Brands

Popular
Holiday Inn Express logo seen at the hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ronen Tivony / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty Images

Could mini shampoo bottles be the next target in the war on plastic pollution?


InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), which owns the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza chains, announced Tuesday it would phase out travel-sized plastic toiletry bottles from its 843,000 rooms, replacing them with bulk gels, shampoos and conditioners by 2021, CNN Business reported.

"It's more important than ever that companies challenge themselves to operate responsibly," IHG CEO Keith Barr said in the announcement. "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."

The move builds on the group's 2018 decision to ban plastic straws, The New York Times reported.

"This, to me, was the next logical step," Barr told The New York Times.

The hotel group has already made the switch in nearly one third of its hotels, Barr said in the announcement. And, while it is the first hotel group to institute a ban across all 17 of its brands, other hotels have taken steps in a similar direction. Marriott announced in 2018 it would use bulk soaps and shampoos in 1,500 North American hotels, and Hilton said in March it was recycling used soap into new bars, CNN reported.

Such initiatives may not be optional in the future. California is considering a bill that would make it illegal for hotels to offer small plastic bottles beginning in 2023, according to The New York Times. But replacing personal bottles with bulk dispensers can also have economic benefits for hotels.

"Budget hotels have always been more likely to have bulk shampoo and conditioner dispensers in the shower, and some also have them by the sink. The reason is cost," Atmosphere Research Group President and travel industry expert Henry H. Harteveldt told The New York Times. "It costs them less to install and service these bulk dispensers than providing individual cakes of soap and bottles of shampoo, conditioner and the like."

The news comes amidst growing concern about the impact of plastic waste on marine life. One million birds and more than 100,000 marine mammals die each year because of the approximately eight million metric tons of plastic that enter the world's oceans each year. And a study released this month found that seabirds who don't die from eating plastic are still smaller and less healthy because of their artificial diet.

Despite these concerns, plastic use is projected to increase this decade, CBS reported.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A scenic view of West Papua. Reza Fakhrudin / Pexels

By Arkilaus Kladit

My name is Arkilaus Kladit. I'm from the Knasaimos-Tehit tribe in South Sorong Regency, West Papua Province, Indonesia. For decades my tribe has been fighting to protect our forests from outsiders who want to log it or clear it for palm oil. For my people, the forest is our mother and our best friend. Everything we need to survive comes from the forest: food, medicines, building materials, and there are many sacred sites in the forest.

Read More Show Less
Everyone overthinks their lives or options every once in a while. Some people, however, can't stop the wheels and halt their train of thoughts. Peter Griffith / Getty Images

By Farah Aqel

Overthinkers are people who are buried in their own obsessive thoughts. Imagine being in a large maze where each turn leads into an even deeper and knottier tangle of catastrophic, distressing events — that is what it feels like to them when they think about the issues that confront them.

Read More Show Less
A newly developed catalyst would transform carbon dioxide from power plants and other sources into ethanol. DWalker44 / E+ / Getty Images

Researchers at the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have discovered a cheap, efficient way to convert carbon dioxide into liquid fuel, potentially reducing the amount of new carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere.

Read More Show Less
Eureka Sound on Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic taken by NASA's Operation IceBridge in 2014. NASA / Michael Studinger / Flickr / CC by 2.0

A 4,000-year-old ice shelf in the Canadian Arctic has collapsed into the sea, leaving Canada without any fully intact ice shelves, Reuters reported. The Milne Ice Shelf lost more than 40 percent of its area in just two days at the end of July, said researchers who monitored its collapse.

Read More Show Less
Teachers and activists attend a protest hosted by Chicago Teachers Union in Chicago, Illinois on Aug. 3, 2020 to demand classroom safety measures as schools debate reopening. KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI / AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus cases surging around the U.S. are often carried by kids, raising fears that the reopening of schools will be delayed and calling into question the wisdom of school districts that have reopened already.

Read More Show Less
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern holds up COVID-19 alert levels during a press conference at Parliament on March 21, 2020 in Wellington, New Zealand. Hagen Hopkins / Getty Images

By Michael Baker, Amanda Kvalsvig and Nick Wilson

On Sunday, New Zealand marked 100 days without community transmission of COVID-19.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Medics with Austin-Travis County EMS transport a nursing home resident with coronavirus symptoms on Aug. 3, 2020 in Austin, Texas. John Moore / Getty Images

The U.S. passed five million coronavirus cases on Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, just 17 days after it hit the four-million case mark.

Read More Show Less