IHG to ban bathroom miniatures in plastic reduction drive

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is set to remove miniature toiletries from its entire global estate by the end of 2021, in a bid to reduce its plastic waste footprint.

IHG currently distributes more than 200 million miniature toiletries annually. Image: IHG EMEA

IHG currently distributes more than 200 million miniature toiletries annually. Image: IHG EMEA

The hotelier, which operates an estate of around 843,000 guest rooms across more than 100 countries, has begun switching to refillable models for toiletries this year and estimates that a business-wide transition will take a further two years to complete.

IHG will complete the transition by scaling up the low-plastic and plastic-free solutions which have already proven successful across several of its brands. These include refillable ceramic dispensers, currently on offer at Six Senses hotels, resorts and spas and bulk-size rigid plastic dispensers, currently used at voco, Even and avid hotels.

According to IHG’s chief executive Keith Barr, refillable models are currently in use across more than one-third of IHG’s estate. Nonetheless, it is still distributing more than 200 million bathroom miniatures each year.

“It’s more important than ever that companies challenge themselves to operate responsibly – we know it’s what our guests, owners, colleagues, investors and suppliers rightly expect,” Barr 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.”

The move from IHG builds on its pledge to remove single-use plastic straws from its global estate by the end of 2019, replacing them with biodegradable alternatives. It is estimated that IHG will eliminate around 50 million single-use plastic straws from its waste output annually once the phase-out is complete.


edie's Plastics Thinkathon Results 

IHG’s corporate responsibility director Karina O’Gorman recently took part in edie's first ever Plastics Thinkathon - a rapid-fire co-creation session aimed at developing innovative solutions to the global plastic pollution problem.

Hosted at edie's Sustainability Leaders Forum, the session specifically focused on eliminating single-use plastic from lunchtime meal deals and hotel toiletries. You can find out more about that session, and the resulting products, by clicking here


Sarah George



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