Photo: IHG Group

CNN Business reported last week that by 2021, InterContinental Group hotel — which includes Holiday Inns, Crowne Plaza and Kimpton Hotels, will end the use of small-sized toiletries plastic bottles and stock its rooms with bulk-sized instead.  They will take this sustainability effort worldwide to all of its 843,000 rooms, exceeding other hotel chains such as Hilton and Marriott that have announced similar efforts but on a smaller scale.

Why This Matters:  We are addicted to plastic and steps like this one begin to break that addiction.  Global Citizen compiled a list of plastic pollution facts that begin to describe the extent of it.  Since the 1950s an estimated 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced globally, according to a report from the Guardian, and only 9% of it has been recycled.  That same report found that every minute around the world 1 million plastic bottles are purchased and this number is projected to increase by another 20% by 2021.  That is why we must act.  The impact of a large global brand like this one making so public and widespread a change is likely to show hundreds of millions of people that we can decrease plastic use if we put our minds to it.

Big Plastic Reduction

According to CNN, the company claimed that “IHG said roughly 200 million miniature-sized toiletries are placed in rooms every year. Replacing them with bulk-sized accessories will lead to a “significant reduction in plastic waste.”

  • The company is undergoing a multi-year sustainability effort by also removing plastic straws by the end of the year and it is using duvet and pillow covers made from 100% recycled materials in some of its rooms.
  • “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,” CEO Keith Barr said in a release.

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