InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced its entire portfolio of properties will switch to bulk-size bathroom amenities rather than miniatures in an effort to reduce plastic waste.
The company says the transition is due to be completed during 2021 and will take place across all of its brands, which includes nearly 843,000 guest rooms worldwide.
IHG currently has an average of 200 million miniature amenities in use across its estate each year, but it says the switch to bulk sizes will see a significant reduction in single-use plastic waste. The scheme is part of the company’s wider sustainability commitment, which has so far seen it pledge to completely remove plastic straws by the end of 2019 in addition to broader waste reduction initiatives.
The company’s brands have already made moves to reduce plastic waste in bathroom amenities, with Six Senses providing products in refillable ceramic dispensers. The Kimpton, Voco, Even and Avid brands have all offered bulk-size amenities since launch, while more than 1,000 Holiday Inn Express properties have been implementing the change to larger sizes.
CEO Keith Barr commented: “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 change.
“We’ve already made great strides in this area, with almost a third of our estate already adopting the change, and we’re proud to lead our industry by making this a brand standard for every single IHG hotel. We’re passionate about sustainability and we’ll continue to explore ways to make a positive difference to the environment and our local communities.”
IHG is a constituent of the FTSE4Good Index and is also a member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Economy 100 (CE100) network, which promotes sustainability in various industries.
Joe Murphy, lead of the CE100, said: “We welcome IHG’s action to reduce plastic waste through this new commitment. Achieving a circular economy will be a challenging journey, but by working together we can find solutions to design out waste, keep materials in use and regenerate our environment.”
In addition to the amenities commitment, Voco Hotels works with suppliers to provide duvets and pillows that are filled with 100 per cent recycled materials, which equates to 150 plastic bottles per guest room diverted from landfill.