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.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.mitchellfauxleathers.com.
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