No more miniatures: Intercontinental Hotels to ditch single-use bathroom plastic

Over 800,000 hotel rooms will have switched to full-sized products by 2021

All Intercontinental Hotels Group properties will switch to full-size bathroom products by 2021, eliminating single-use plastic bottles. Courtesy IHG
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The time has come to say goodbye to the tiny plastic bottles of shower gel, shampoo and conditioner synonymous with staying in hotel rooms.

As public awareness of the damage that single-use plastics have on the global environment grows, hotels are taking steps to eliminate their reliance on the material.

InterContinental Hotels Group, the owner of hotel brands such as Six Senses and Holiday Inn has announced that it is removing all miniature bottles from over 843,000 guest rooms across its global hotel map.

The company will switch to full-sized bathroom amenities, with the transition set for completion in 2021.

IHG hotels currently use around 200 million mini plastic toiletries every year.

The news is another step towards sustainability for IHG. The group has already pledged to discontinue the use of plastic straws in its properties around the world.

Keith Barr, CEO at IHG said, "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."

Many IHG properties have already ditched plastic. Six Senses properties all have refillable ceramic dispensers for bathroom products and the resorts also bottle their own water and use paper or bamboo straws. Voco Dubai has used bulk-size amenities since it opened on Sheikh Zayed Road earlier this year.

Plastic water bottles are also on the way out when it comes to major hotels. Brands including Hilton and JA Resorts and Hotels introduced bans on these plastic products last year.

As more mainstream hospitality groups turn sustainable, they can take inspiration from Soneva, one of the leaders in the fight against single-use plastic. The luxury resort was ahead of the curve when it banned all plastic straws in 1998. Today, each of its resorts in the Maldives and Thailand operate on a plastic-free philosophy.