Marriott International has been replacing tiny, single-use bottles of shampoo, conditioner and bath gel in guest room showers with larger, pump-topped bottles, and expects that most of its other hotels will make the switch by December, 2020, the hospitality giant announced today. So far, the company has rolled out the larger bottles at about 1,000 properties in North America.
When fully implemented, the program is expected to prevent about 500 million tiny bottles – or 1.7 million pounds of plastic – from going to landfills each year; that’s about 1.7 million pounds of plastic. The company says this is a 30% annual reduction from current amenity plastic usage. The larger bottles are also recyclable along with other basic containers, such as plastic soda bottles.
While the hotels will have to make an upfront investment when they switch to the larger bottles, the company anticipates the program to ultimately be cost-neutral, a spokesperson told Environmental Leader.
The company says the shift has been “overwhelmingly popular with guests.”
The move is part of its Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction initiative, which included phasing out plastic straws and stirrers, and switching to an on-demand approach. As of last month, the company says it has diverted a billion plastic straws from landfill.
Hospitality companies like Marriott are increasingly initiating moves such as this in an effort to reduce costs, respond to customer demand, and curb their environmental impacts.
Some Hilton brands, for example, are engaged in a challenge to collect and recycle soap, aiming for a million bars of new soap by October 15 to be distributed to communities in need. Boca Raton Resort & Club and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas began using a paper straw alternative earlier this year. And InterContinental Hotels Group is using AI-enabled technology to reduce food waste.