I have bad news for anybody who collects mini toiletries every time they stay in a hotel – and good news for the environment. The owner of Holiday Inn and InterContinental Hotels just announced plans to phase out mini bottles of shampoo and other toiletries from their nearly 843,000 guest rooms within the next few years.
InterContinental Hotels Group (also known as IHG) has more than 5,600 hotels around the world and says they use an average of 200 million bathroom miniatures across their brands every year. That means a lot of plastic waste in the form of shampoo, conditioner and lotion bottles that just end up in landfills.
But don't worry. You won't be stuck without those products during your next stay. IHG is replacing the mini bottles you'll usually find on your in-suite bathroom counter with bulk-size versions. About a third of their hotels have already made the switch, and the rest should follow between now and 2021.
In a news release, IHG claims they are "the first global hotel company to commit all brands to removing bathroom miniatures in favour of bulk-size amenities." They also started removing single-use straws from their hotels in October 2018 and plan to make a full change worldwide by the end of this year.
"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," IHG CEO Keith Barr says in the release. "We’re passionate about sustainability, and we’ll continue to explore ways to make a positive difference to the environment and our local communities.”
And IHG isn't the first major company to announce changes like these. Restaurants and stores across Canada and the world have started saying "no" to single-use plastics like straws, cutlery and grocery bags. Earlier this year, the Trudeau government also announced plans to eliminate these plastics by as early as 2021.
But if you're switching between hotels, hostels, Airbnb homes and campgrounds on a trip (and won't always have those bulk-size bottles nearby), you might want to invest in refillable toiletry bottles. You can pick up this bestselling Humangear Gotoob+ 3-Pack of medium-sized bottles from Sport Chek for $29.99, and many other stores sell similar options. Plus, you can buy a ton of different beauty products as trial sizes, too.