InterContinental Hotel Group says its brands go through some 200 million small toiletries every year.

By Hanna Flanagan
July 31, 2019 04:41 PM

Farewell travel size, hello environmentally friendly.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) recently announced it is discontinuing miniature bathroom accessories to eliminate excess waste — after going through an estimated 200 million toiletries every year.

Home to brands like Holiday Inn, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, the worldwide company says all of their hotels will switch to bulk-sized bathroom amenities by the end of 2021, NPR reports.

IHG has seemingly taken note of the fact that potential guests care about hotel environmental policies: “A survey carried out by Hilton last year found that a third of customers actively researched a hotel company’s environmental efforts before staying with them,” The Financial Times reported.

Based in England, IHG boasts more than 800,000 total guest rooms and over 5,000 hotels spanning across nearly 100 countries, according to NPR. It claims to be “the first global hotel company to commit all brands to removing bathroom miniatures in favor of bulk-size amenities.”

IHG CEO Keith Barr told The Financial Times: “We collectively as an industry have to lead where governments are not necessarily giving the leadership to make a difference.”

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In 2015, the company implemented an online sustainability program that measures and manages indiviudal IHG hotel’s impact on the environment called Green Engage. Each hotel can “choose from over 200 ‘Green Solutions’ that are designed to help them reduce their energy, water and waste, and improve their impact on the environment,” according to IHG’s website.

IHG waste-reduction plan joins that of its competitors, like Hilton Worldwide Holdings (formerly Hilton Hotels Corporation).

Hilton employees collect hotel guests’ old soap, then sanitize and recycle it into bars for needy communities, while diverting over 1.5 million pounds of the substance from landfills. By the end of 2018, Hilton had also removed plastic straws from 650 of the properties it manages.

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