Intercontinental Hotels, one of the largest hotel groups in the world has shaken the hospitality industry by taking a bold move against plastic waste. It has pledged that by 2021 it will remove miniature toiletry amenities from the bathrooms of its entire hotel portfolio. Make no mistake, this is significant. With almost 843,000 hotel rooms, this initiative will see over 200 million plastic bottles disappear in favour of bulk-size dispensers.
Keith Barr, IHG CEO, said: “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.
“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.”
This latest commitment comes in the wake of the group’s pledge to remove plastic straws from its hotels by the end of 2019. That is 50 million straws each year, enough said IHG “to stretch from New York to Tokyo”. IHG recently signed up to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Economy 100 network, to work with cross-industry partners to build a more sustainable planet.
Joe Murphy, Lead of the CE100, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation 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.”