Home News & Features Marriott to Replace 24 Million Key Cards with Eco-Friendly Alternative

Marriott to Replace 24 Million Key Cards with Eco-Friendly Alternative


BETHESDA, MD.—Marriott International has found the “key” to a greener planet. Effective immediately, the company will begin replacing the 24 million plastic key cards that it purchases annually in the United States with those made of 50 percent recycled material, thereby saving 66 tons of plastic from being dumped in a landfill.

The new key card is just one of many advances the company has made to “green” its $10 billion supply chain and reduce its global environmental footprint. As hotels deplete their inventory of existing supplies, they’ll be replaced with new, greener products, preferably developed by the company’s current vendors for the same or lower price. Other examples include:

• Eco-Smart pillows. Guests can sleep easy knowing that their pillows are “fighting” to save the planet. The company will begin replacing the 100,000 synthetic pillows that it purchases annually with those filled with polyester micro fiber made from 100 percent recycled PET bottles.

• Coreless toilet paper. By the end of next year, 500 hotels will offer “coreless” toilet paper, thereby eliminating two million cores a year, saving about 119 trees, nearly three million gallons of water, and 21 tons of packaging waste annually. The new tissue is made of 20 to 40 percent recycled fiber and now holds 800 sheets per roll, up from 500.

• Recycled paper products. Most of the paper products in the hotel, from the notepads on the desk to the “folio” that holds the key card or bill, are made of recycled paper.

• Additionally, in the Middle East and Europe, more than 100 Marriott, Renaissance and Courtyard hotels purchase 43 tons of oxo-biodegradable plastic laundry bags annually which will disintegrate in two to five years, if not recycled and reused first.

These new greener products join a growing list of others announced earlier this year. In April, the company began rolling out the annual purchase of 47 million BIC Ecolutions pens made from pre-consumer recycled plastic; more than one million gallons of low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paint; and one million “room-ready” towels (which save six million gallons of water annually by eliminating the initial wash cycle).

Greening the supply chain is one of five key points in Marriott’s environmental strategy, which also includes carbon offsets through the protection of the Juma rainforest reserve in the State of Amazonas in Brazil; further reducing fuel and water consumption by 25 percent per available room over the next 10 years, and installing solar power at up to 40 hotels by 2017; creating green construction standards for hotel developers to achieve LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council; and educating and inspiring employees and guests to support the environment.

Go to Marriott for more information.