The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
In Industry First, IHG to Phase Out Plastic Toiletry Bottles From All 17 of Its Hotel Brands
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."
As part of our ongoing efforts to reduce plastic waste, we’re delighted to announce that every IHG hotel worldwide will switch to bulk-size bathroom amenities – replacing miniatures. Good things come in big packages… #truehospitality https://t.co/7ROtM4YyvA pic.twitter.com/jzUhPG0zFY— IHG (@IHGCorporate) July 30, 2019
"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
No longer will the options when we die be a choice between just burial or cremation. Soon it will be possible to compost your remains and leave your loved ones with rich soil, thanks to a new funeral service opening in Seattle in 2021 that will convert humans into soil in just 30 days, as The Independent reported.
The holiday season is supposed to be about giving and sharing, but often it is actually about throwing away. The U.S. generates 25 percent more garbage between Thanksgiving and New Year's than it does during the rest of the year. That's around one million extra tons per week, according to National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) figures reported by The Associated Press.
The brushfires raging through New South Wales have shrouded Australia's largest city in a blanket of smoke that pushed the air quality index 12 times worse than the hazardous threshold, according to the Australia Broadcast Corporation (ABC).
By David B. Goldstein
Energy efficiency is the cornerstone of any country's plan to fight the climate crisis. It is the cheapest option available, and one that as often as not comes along with other benefits, such as job creation, comfort and compatibility with other key solutions such as renewable energy. This has been recognized by the International Energy Agency (IEA) for at least a decade.
By Andrea Germanos
Over 500 groups on Monday rolled out an an action plan for the next president's first days of office to address the climate emergency and set the nation on a transformative path towards zero emissions and a just transition in their first days in office.