Those little hotel bottles are close to becoming things of the past. IHG Hotels & Resorts announced that it’s replacing the bathroom miniatures with bulk amenities in 4,000 hotels. Guests will now find larger bottles/dispensers of at least 235 milliliters, which will not be replaced after each stay.
The switch is part of IHG’s commitment to eliminating single-use items by 2030 and is expected to save at least 850 tons of plastic annually in the Americas region alone. How much is that exactly? It’s the equivalent of five fully-grown blue whales or 70 double-decker London buses.
In 2019, IHG became the first global hotel company to commit all of its hotel brands to remove bathroom miniatures for larger-size amenities.
“IHG has pioneered the move to minimal waste in the hospitality industry and we’re excited to spell the end of bathroom miniatures through our collaboration with Unilever,” said Yasmin Diamond, Executive Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs, IHG Hotels & Resorts. “Our guests are increasingly mindful of the impact their travel choices have on the environment and our colleagues, investors, owners and suppliers all expect us to act responsibly. Transitioning to bulk amenities across our global estate was one of our first significant steps towards eliminating single-use items throughout the guest stay by 2030. We’ll continue to find innovative solutions for operating more sustainably to deliver our purpose of True Hospitality for Good.”
Unilever’s largest brand, Dove, will supply full-size hand wash, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion to IHG Essentials and Suites Collection hotels, including Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, avid hotels, Staybridge Suites, and Candlewood Suites.
“Unilever is committed to making sustainable living commonplace, and we have ambitious targets across every part of our business,” said Umesh Shah, CEO of Unilever International. “We are pleased to partner with IHG Hotels & Resorts to help extend sustainable living into the travel industry by providing bathrooms with bulk amenities. Through this collaboration, IHG’s guests will enjoy a range of products from Dove during their stay, while reducing their use of plastic.”
This is part of IHG’s 10-year “Journey to Tomorrow” responsible business plan, which includes a series of ambitious targets to drive positive change for people, communities, and the planet. In addition to adding bulk amenities, it is also working to eliminate single-use items, minimize food waste, and adopt circular solutions for major hotel commodity items by 2030.
By 2025, Unilever plans to help create a circular economy for plastic, including commitments to halve the amount of virgin plastic it uses in its packaging and achieve an absolute reduction of more than 100,000 tons; collect and process more plastic packaging than it sells; ensure 100 percent of its plastic packaging is designed to be reusable, recyclable or compostable; and to use 25 percent recycled plastic in its packaging.
All of IHG’s markets now have bulk bathroom amenity contracts. In some regions, hotels have a choice of supplier, so a different full-size amenity brand may be used.