Last year my coworker and I ran around the city asking New Yorkers what they would ban besides plastic straws. Among the best answers were plastic bags, face wash microbeads, and straight white men. Nobody thought of a hotel’s mini plastic toiletries, maybe because they wanted to continue stealing them. But InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), owner of both Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza hotels, thought of removing the shampoo bottles.
While it’s nice to dump shower products into your travel bag at the end of a hotel stay, 200 million shampoo bottles are dumped into landfills each year. So, in an effort to be more sustainable, IHG has pledged to remove tiny shampoo bottle service from all of its 843,000 rooms by 2021. Apparently, this pledge has already impacted a third of IHG’s hotels.
"We collectively as an industry have to lead where governments are not necessarily giving the leadership to make a difference,” said Keith Barr, IHG’s chief executive. As a millenial fearing an environmental death by corporate profit motive, I almost sobbed reading that.
So, what now? The miniatures will be replaced by bulk bottles, and our travel bags will have more room for the cleaner air that is hopefully coming soon.