Marriott International, the world’s largest hotel chain, has said it will eliminate small plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioner and bath gel from its hotel rooms worldwide by December 2020. They’ll be replaced with larger bottles or wall-mounted dispensers, depending on the hotel.
The move follows a similar announcement last month by IHG, which owns Holiday Inn, Kimpton and other brands. IHG said it will eliminate about 200 million tiny bottles each year by 2021. Last year, Walt Disney Co. said it would replace small plastic shampoo bottles at its resorts and on its cruise ships. Many smaller companies, like the five Soneva Resorts in Thailand and the Maldives, have also ditched plastic bottles.
Marriott has more than 7,000 hotels in 131 countries under 30 brands, ranging from SpringHill Suites and Residence Inn to Sheraton and Ritz-Carlton. It says it will be eliminating about 500 million small bottles each year, or 1.7 million pounds of plastic.
Marriott has wanted to get rid of small bottles for years, President and CEO Arne Sorenson said. There are just too many of them, he said, and they’re difficult to recycle because of the time it takes to clean them out.
But it took a lot of work to design tamper-resistant large bottles and get suppliers on board. High-end hotels, in particular, needed to have bottles that still felt luxurious, he said. “There were a lot of technical features to this that we had to get right,” he said.