Home Publisher's Point of View Another Mega Dispenser Announcement—This Time from Marriott

Another Mega Dispenser Announcement—This Time from Marriott

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Glenn Hasek

If you placed 700 million amenity bottles end to end, assuming 3 inches for each bottle, they would stretch for 33,143 miles. That is far more than once around the equator (24,901 miles) and about 1/7th the distance from the Earth to the moon.

Why am I mentioning 700 million? This past week, Marriott International announced that it is expanding an initiative to replace tiny, single-use toiletry bottles of shampoo, conditioner and bath gel in guestroom showers with larger, pump-topped bottles. To date, the company has already rolled out larger bottles at about 1,000 properties in North America, and now expects most of its other hotels to make the switch by December 2020. When fully implemented across the globe, Marriott’s expanded toiletry program is expected to prevent about 500 million tiny bottles annually from going to landfills. Less than a month ago, IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) announced that its entire hotel estate of almost 843,000 guestrooms will switch to bulk-size bathroom amenities, with the transition to be completed during 2021. IHG currently has an average of 200 million bathroom miniatures in use across its entire hotel estate every year.

The men and women who have been trying to sell dispensers to hotels for years must have jumped out of their shoes upon hearing the Marriott announcement. With two of the industry’s biggest companies now on board with dispensers, expect additional announcements from other major companies soon as dispensers begin to become an expectation rather than a surprise.

A Major Reduction in Plastic Waste

The transition to dispensers is certainly happening thanks to growing awareness about plastic waste. Marriott’s expanded toiletry program will keep 1.7 million pounds of plastic out of the landfill.

“This is our second global initiative aimed at reducing single-use plastics in just over a year, which underscores how important we believe it is to continuously find ways to reduce our hotels’ environmental impact. It’s a huge priority for us,” said Arne Sorenson, President and CEO of Marriott International.

Said Keith Barr, CEO, IHG, earlier this month: “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. 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.”

In addition to reducing plastic waste, dispensers have many other upsides—an opportunity to present liquids in a luxurious, stylish, branded manner; an opportunity to substantially reduce costs (up to 70 percent, according to Ray Burger, President, Pineapple Hospitality) while improving guest satisfaction; an opportunity to make an environmental statement that differentiates one’s hotel from the competition; they are convenient and easy to use; there is less housekeeping time dedicated to restocking and less storage space is needed for the little bottles.

Many smaller hotel companies and independent hotels have been sold on dispensers for years but I consider the Marriott and IHG announcements to be game changers.

Our industry must continue to transition away from plastic amenity bottles while still figuring out a way to support those organizations that historically have donated the still-useful bottles to those in need.

Your thoughts? I can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

GLN Adds The Mitchell Group to Green Product & Service Directory

Green Lodging News welcomes The Mitchell Group to its Green Product & Service Directory. The Mitchell Group is a major converter of PU, PVC, and Silicone coated fabrics to various upholstery markets around the world. Its capabilities to decorate product include release paper, embossing, post-processing, and two-stage printing effects. The company’s corporate offices are located outside of Chicago in Niles, Ill., with a 100,000 square foot distribution and customer service center located in Pontotoc, Miss. Its trading company is located in Shanghai, China, and manages exports as well as all China-to-China business. For more information call (877) 647-7301, e-mail info@mitchellfauxleathers.com, or visit www.mitchellfauxleathers.com.

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Green Lodging News is always looking to profile sustainability champions in our Personnel Profile section. If you would like to nominate someone for this section of Green Lodging News, contact me at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

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Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

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Green Suppliers Spotlight is published weekly on Thursdays to general managers, owners, management companies, directors of sustainability, directors of engineering, facilities managers and many others who are either in purchasing positions or who influence purchasing decisions. Suppliers of green products and services throughout North America and beyond are invited to participate in the e-blast. (Minimum two suppliers per e-blast.) Green Suppliers Spotlight was created to give vendors an opportunity to reach a high number of industry purchasers at a very low cost—as low as $200 per e-mail. (Click here for rate sheet.)

Those advertising in Green Suppliers Spotlight can include up to 100 words, one image, contact information and multiple links to their website in their ad. At the end of each month, a report will be sent to each supplier with information on delivered e-mails, opens and click-throughs.

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