Following their 2018 initiative to reduce single-use plastics, Marriott International has just announced their plans to eliminate mini disposable toiletries from all their hotels globally by 2020. Replacing the single-use amenities in bathrooms will be large refillable pump bottles. Marriott’s decision comes after recent headlines by companies in the hospitality industry aiming to phase out single-use and disposable plastics from their hotels, including InterContinental Hotels Group and Ovolo Hotels.
This is Marriott International’s second global initiative aimed at tackling plastic pollution. In mid 2018, the hotel chain giant rolled out larger refillable and recyclable toiletry bottles across 20% of its properties, mostly in locations in the United States. The plan is to expand the initiative across all 7,000 of its hotels, brands and resorts spanning 132 territories, which will save an estimated 500 million mini bottles from ending up in landfills, all part of the company’s “Serve 360” programme that also includes reducing landfill waste by 45% and sourcing its top 10 product purchases responsibly by the end of 2025.
When it comes to the why behind these campaign, global pressure from guests to alleviate plastic waste is a key driving factor. “Our guests are looking to us to make changes that will create a meaningful difference for the environment,” said president and CEO of Marriott International Arne Sorensen. In the locations featuring the refillable bottles (which are made from plastic, it’s worth pointing out), feedback from hotel guests has been “overwhelmingly positive feedback”. Guests are also fans of the company’s campaign to ditch disposable plastic straws and stirrers, which diverted 1 billion un-biodegradable straws from landfills and oceans.
The move is also a part of a broader trend in the global hospitality industry. Last month, Hong Kong and Australian brand Ovolo Hotels announced the release of their own range of “OMG” refillable bathroom amenities to replace single-use plastic disposables. In another environmental scheme, the InterContinental Group, which owns a number of brands including Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and Six Senses resort spas, has plans to switch to refillable ceramic and recyclable plastic dispensers by the end of 2021.
It is clear that hotels and businesses are feeling the pressure from guests to take proactive steps to save our oceans, rivers, landfills and food ecosystem from plastic pollution. Government legislation around the world has also tried to crackdown on the global plastic waste issue by passing flat-out bans, as seen in Kenya, Morocco and Rwanda.
Lead image courtesy of Marriott International.